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Before and after Jaws: Changing representations of shark attacks

Francis, Beryl (2011) Before and after Jaws: Changing representations of shark attacks. Honours thesis, Murdoch University.

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When the film Jaws (1975), about a rogue shark that terrorised a small seaside island community was released, it had an unprecedented paranoia effect on its audience that became entrenched into the psyche of bathers around the world; a fear that media hyperbole exploited. At the same time, the film was also responsible for a surge in scientific interest in sharks and the media responded by giving more attention to the important role of sharks in the marine ecology. In the long term, social perceptions of sharks, changed from fear to conservation, influencing local, national and international government conservation and management policies. Nevertheless, there persists the initial media frenzy after any shark attack and Jaws remains the touchstone for media reporting.

Item Type: Thesis (Honours)
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Social Sciences and Humanities
Supervisor(s): Sturma, Michael
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