The Representation of Crime and Criminals in the TV Series Sherlock and Elementary: A Corpus Study

  • Archontoula MentiEmail author
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Crime, Media and Culture book series (PSCMC)


The study examines two contemporary crime television series based on the Sherlock Holmes detective stories, namely the British Sherlock and the US Elementary, in order to investigate the representation of crime and criminals through the language of TV shows. Combining two types of linguistic analysis, corpus linguistics and critical discourse analysis, the author quantitatively and qualitatively examines the language of crime in the two series, focusing on the types of crimes and criminals as well as the gender of criminals and victims. The chapter also explores patterns and ideologies that are shaped by media and communicated through language. It shows that the two series follow gender stereotypes in the representation of criminals and address contemporary aspects of crime in their stories such as terrorism and organised crime.


Gender Critical discourse analysis Sherlock Elementary Corpus linguistics 



I would like to express my deep gratitude to Dionysis Goutsos, professor of text linguistics in the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, for his patient guidance, continuous encouragement, precious suggestions and insightful comments on this work.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National and Kapodistrian University of AthensAthensGreece

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