We cannot verify your location
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE

Crime and Media in Contemporary France

by Deborah Streifford Reisinger

Publication Year: 2007

This book examines contemporary French society's relationship with violence in an era of increased media dominance.

Published by: Purdue University Press

Series: Comparative Cultural Studies

Title page

pdf iconDownload PDF (146.4 KB)


pdf iconDownload PDF (91.8 KB)

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF (177.0 KB)
pp. vii-viii

A number of persons have been instrumental in the writing of this book, in ways they may or may not realize. I thank, above all, Martine Antle for her extraordinary guidance throughout the long stretches of research and writing; she believed in this project from its inception and was instrumental in helping it find a place. I must also thank individual colleagues...

read more

Chapter One: Crime and Sensation in Contemporary France

pdf iconDownload PDF (307.4 KB)
pp. 1-20

The late 1980s and early 1990s were an era of heightened crime awareness in France, a precursor for the hyper-focus on security and délinquance that would characterize the turn of the century. With the introduction of the word “serial killer” into the French language, the emerging popularity of “reality TV,” and an increasingly pervasive media discourse focused on public insecurity...

read more

Chapter Two: Mediating Crime

pdf iconDownload PDF (305.3 KB)
pp. 21-39

As an account of a serial killer, the Paulin affaire represents a relatively new addition to contemporary French criminality. The term “serial killer” first appeared in France in 1980, and although the term “tueur en série” is now part of the French language, its entrance into French printed discourse as an English word makes its origins unmistakable. Current articles on serial killing...

read more

Chapter Three: Viewing Crime

pdf iconDownload PDF (315.9 KB)
pp. 40-64

From the earliest cinematic endeavors, crime has figured predominantly in French film, and faits divers have been frequently the subject of cinematic productions. While this recreation of historical events has been a consistently popular theme in film, adaptations of sensational...

read more

Chapter Four: Sensation and Censorship

pdf iconDownload PDF (282.6 KB)
pp. 65-83

In February of 1988, wanted posters publicizing four pictures of “the crazed killer” (“le tueur fou”) were plastered throughout Parisian metro stations, announcing the police’s progress in putting a face to the man who had murdered a policeman in Toulon and at least two civilians near Annecy. Almost immediately following the issuance of the wanted poster, the killer was identified...

read more

Chapter Five: Performing Murder

pdf iconDownload PDF (392.4 KB)
pp. 84-124

Koltès began writing his play in 1988, just prior to Succo’s suicide. As I have shown, Koltès’s interest in Succo, fueled by the media’s images of the killer, has been consistently cited in reference to the play, encrusting it with layers of meaning. Used by both proponents and opponents of the play...

read more

Chapter Six: Rewriting History

pdf iconDownload PDF (264.3 KB)
pp. 125-138

Throughout this project, I have sought to underline how the contemporary fait divers functions as an important site of struggle for the control of social meaning. As evidenced by the Paulin and Succo affaires of the 1980s, media, politicians, and law enforcement vie with each other to influence public sentiment about crime...

Works Cited

pdf iconDownload PDF (212.1 KB)
pp. 139-148


pdf iconDownload PDF (1.0 MB)
pp. 149-153

E-ISBN-13: 9781612490267
E-ISBN-10: 1612490263
Print-ISBN-13: 9781557534330
Print-ISBN-10: 1557534330

Page Count: 158
Publication Year: 2007

Series Title: Comparative Cultural Studies

Research Areas


UPCC logo

Subject Headings

  • Violence -- France.
  • Motion pictures and literature -- France.
  • Mass media and crime -- France.
  • Crime -- France.
  • You have access to this content
  • Free sample
  • Open Access
  • Restricted Access