Scene composition and justice for women: An analysis of the portrayal of Detective Tennison in the British television program Prime Suspect

Title: Scene composition and justice for women: An analysis of the portrayal of Detective Tennison in the British television program Prime Suspect

Year: 2007

Journal / Publication: Feminist Criminology

Volume: 2

Issue: 4

Pages: 277 – 303

Authors:

Cavender, Gray

Jurik, Nancy

Abstract:

This article examines the ways in which the visuals of the British made-for-television series Prime Suspect portray the main character, Detective Chief Superintendent (DCS) Jane Tennison, and her struggles to produce justice in the male-dominated field of policing. The authors demonstrate how the film’s visuals convey sensitivity to the socially marginalized by placing Tennison’s body in the locations of the victims whose deaths she investigates. The authors also argue that the often-graphic Prime Suspect visuals offer the possibility of sensitizing viewers to the plight of marginalized populations and the victimization of women. Tennison’s connection to the victims and relentless pursuit of justice despite official discouragement provide an example of a progressive moral fiction; the program exposes the structural conditions that promote violence and victimization and offers encouragement to battle these obstacles.

Link: http://fcx.sagepub.com/content/2/4/277.abstract

Keywords:

Feminist Crime Genre

Police Procedural

Progressive Moral Fiction

Women in Policing

Media and Crime

Feminist Analysis of Television