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The spectacle of crime, digitized : CSI - Crime Scene Investigation and Social Anatomy

[journal article]

Gever, Martha

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Abstract One of the most significant features of the television series CSI: Crime Scene Investigationis its central preoccupation – forensic evidence – and the profession practised by its major characters – forensic science. Scientific inscriptions consistently allow the crime scene investigators (CSIs) to determine 'evidence' and 'truths' that otherwise elude them. At the same time, the dazzling digital effects used to punctuate key moments in each episode inevitably reference scientific technologies and the knowledge about reality that these promise. The success of the CSIs in every episode is premised upon knowledge guaranteed by scientific inscriptions and is itself an inscription of ways of seeing human bodies and the social body, represented by police scientists working to ensure public safety – a healthy social body. And it is also about how bodies, individual and social, are constituted as information, made knowable and validated by scientific instruments and procedures used to produce evidence.
Classification Broadcasting, Telecommunication; Media Contents, Content Analysis
Free Keywords autopsy; crime drama; digital imaging; evidence; forensic science; spectacle; televisuality; visual culture
Document language English
Publication Year 2005
Page/Pages p. 445-463
Journal European Journal of Cultural Studies, 8 (2005) 4
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)