Bystander Behavior And Discourse Analysis

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Bystander behaviour can generally be described as the actions people take when they witness an emergency situation in a public place. There have been many studies on bystander behaviour, this essay will explore two approaches to explain this behaviour. It will look at the experimental method performed by Latané and Darley and at the discourse analysis done by Levine. First the essay will describe and outline the methods.after that it will examine the similarities as well as the contrast between those techniques. Latané and Darley did their research on bystander behaviour in the aftermath of the murder case of Catherine `Kitty´ Genovese,which happened in the Suburbs of New York in 1964. Catherine Genovese was returning late from home on night…show more content…
Levine argued, that the `bystander effect` is a gerneral principle and it can not be applied on every real-life emergency.(Byford,p.235) To find out what the reasons where, in the murder case of James Bulger, why the bystanders didn 't step in he did a discourse analysis, in which he analyzed the testemonies of the trial. He tried to understand the witnesses responses. by putting them in the social and historical context. (Byford,p.235) James Bulger was just three years old when he was abducted and killed by two ten year old boys, Jon Venables and Robert Thompson. They grabbed him from a shopping mall, walked with him through the suburbs of Bootle and Walton, then took him to a secluted area on train tracks and killed him. This case attracted media attention, for the reaon of the murderers being only ten year old. In the trial 38 witness testified, that they saw the three boys and most of them saw that Bulger was in distress. But only a few of them intervened but not to the extent that they saved Bulger.…show more content…
They thought he was left in the care of his older sibbling.(Byford,p.235) In this case the bystanders didn 't intervene, because of the numbers of other people around, some were even alone, when they encounterd the three boys, but because the thought they didn 't have the right to intrude other people 's family life. The two abducters were aware of this, and even told witnesses that he was their brother. Comparing the cases of Catherine Genovese and James Bulger, both of them took place in a public place and in both them a large number of bystanders witnessed parts of the crime (38 people in both cases) Both of the approaches, the experimental method and the discourse analysis tried to explain, why despite the number of witnesses, none of them intervened to that degree, that both of the vitims could have been spared with their
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