Random Violence: How We Talk About New Crimes and New Victims.

AuthorFerrall, Bard R.

JOEL BEST, RANDOM VIOLENCE: How WE TALK ABOUT NEW CRIMES AND NEW VICTIMS (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1999) 242 pp.

While recognizing that unexpected violent attacks by strangers, causing real and sometimes permanent damage to the victims, is a serious problem, the author believes that society has not developed the best way to look at the problem. Concerned that distorted claims about a problem may lead to poor public policy, the author examines statements by journalists, politicians, academics and others, about certain "new crimes" which received widespread public attention in the '90s, (e.g., carjacking, freeway shootings, "wilding," and stalking.) After describing the way that public discussion of these problems changed as attention grew, the...

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