Scene Composition and Justice for Women: An Analysis of the Portrayal of Detective Tennison in the British Television Program Prime Suspect

Gray Cavender, Nancy Jurik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)277-303
Number of pages27
Journalfeminist criminology
Volume2
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2007

Keywords

  • feminist analysis of television
  • feminist crime genre
  • media and crime
  • police procedural
  • progressive moral fiction
  • women in policing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Law

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