29 June – 1 July 201
Child Victims and Celebrity Culture: The Celebration of Pain
"Within celebrity culture perpetrators of crime can attain celebrity status due to their criminality (Penfold-Mounce, 2009).
This achievement of celebrity criminality is only one aspect of celebrated status being achieved through negative connotations with an increasing number of crime victims achieving celebrity due to their victimhood.
It appears that in celebrity culture it is possible to celebrate the pain, both physical and emotional, inflicted on others particularly amongst the young.
This paper seeks to examine the rise of the celebrity child victim and their importance as a new ‘social glue’ within society as symbolic victims. Celebrated child victims demonstrate an innate power to influence public opinion and subsequently impact upon governmental policy.
A range of case studies will be used to illustrate how victims are achieving well-knowness to the extent of attaining celebrity and the consequences of this status.
A primary focus will be taken upon Madeline McCann, Sarah Payne and Soham murder victims Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman all of whom have been celebrated for their victimhood."
York Deviancy Conference, 29 June – 1 July 2011
Dr Ruth Penfold-Mounce