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The Social Construction of Serial Killers

Mello-Klein, C. (2023, November 17). Why are there fewer serial killers now than there used to be? Retrieved from

I won't say that all criminals are the same, but the common features are: traumatized, socially awkward, shy, and having problems with family or other relatives. At the moment, the prevalence of serial killers is much less than it used to be in the 1970s to the 1990s, but the crime rate is high anyway. Obviously, we all know that their impact on society is awful and that they must be isolated in order to save the community.

To talk about the media representation of these individuals, it is clearly stated that we must be protected from them. Criminals are usually shown as evil, cruel, mindless, and horrible. BBC News, Fox News, CBS News, EuroNews, and the New York Daily News are all clearly stating that these types of characters are killers. But how did representation change? The 1980s and 1990s witnessed a fascination with serial killers and psychological thrillers. Movies like "The Silence of the Lambs" and TV shows like "Twin Peaks" and "The X-Files" focused on the psychological motivations of criminals and the efforts to catch them. This shift highlighted the psychological aspects of crime and contributed to the popular perception of serial killers as complex and intelligent individuals.

But cultural factors are important on this topic too. For instance, other people's values and the overall norms make us think that they're our rivals, which is completely true. To talk about race, gender, and class, stories and films based on real crimes help other people understand their unique qualities and fight to be free. In the case of real crime affairs, they are strengthening our society and helping us build a strong bond with each other and appreciate other people's values and life views.

Finally, the phenomenon of serial killers serves as a terrifying reminder of the intricacy of societal formation and human conduct. Even if a serial killer may have developed as a result of personal experiences and psychological predispositions, it is important to recognise that society has had a tremendous impact on the motivations and behaviours of these individuals. Serial killers are the subject of a narrative that is constructed by the media, cultural conventions, and social structures, which feeds both curiosity and dread.


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