Social Issues as Media Constructions: The Case of 'Road Rage'

In this article, the authors consider the reasons why ‘road rage’ has proved to be such a popular media object and examine the essential question of whether there has been a real increase in a type of crime that could be labeled ‘road rage’. After a lengthy review of the use of the term 'road rage' in the popular media, the authors use content analysis to measure the degree to which criminal and non-criminal events are captured in ‘road rage’ stories in the media. The authors use the natural history approach to social problems to interpret the sudden appearance and rapid diffusion of road rage as an object of media attention. The authors conclude that media attention to 'road rage' serves to increase fear out of proportion to the actual risks of victimization posed. Impulsive driving-related violence occurred prior to the discovery of 'road rage' by the media. The label of 'road rage' may be more likely to be used as a metaphor for the frustrations of contemporary society than as a sub-category of stranger violence.

  • Availability:
  • Authors:
    • Roberts, Lynne D
    • Indermaur, David
  • Publication Date: 2005-12


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: pp 301-321
  • Serial:
    • Crime Media Culture
    • Volume: 1
    • Issue Number: 3
    • Publisher: Sage Publications, Incorporated
    • ISSN: 1741-6590

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01042704
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Feb 25 2007 7:37AM