Pop Culture and Perception

  • Karen Smith


The advent of immediate gratification in the form of 24 h internet access, television binge-watching, podcasts, news cycles, radio programs, and websites all dedicated solely to true crime has inundated the population with a never-ending plethora of prison culture, told from the perspective of the creators and rarely in the form of pure reality. In truth, prison for women is rarely, if ever, portrayed in a wide open spotlight, rather it is shown in a pinpoint of light that only ensconces the parts that entice the public to watch. The reality of prison for the majority of women is stark in contrast. The exception may be the rare celebrity who finds themselves facing prison time even with a rigid, perhaps flamboyant, defense. Once inside the prison walls, these celebrities encounter a vast majority of women who pleaded their case at the behest of a public defender, whose resources are limited. Does having money and power make a difference with regard to sentencing? This chapter will give a brief overview of this dichotomy as well as contrast popular media portrayals of women in prison with the grim reality of those who are incarcerated.


True crime Media culture Sensationalism Dramedy 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karen Smith
    • 1
  1. 1.University of FloridaLos AngelesUSA

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