The Jaws Effect: How movie narratives are used to influence policy responses to shark bites in Western AustraliaPublished on 06. December 2014
The Jaws Effect: How movie narratives are used to influence policy responses to shark bites in Western Australia
This article examines the way political actors use film narratives to influence policymaking following shark bites. To analyse these relationships I propose the concept of the Jaws Effect, where film-based historical analogies are used as a political device to frame real-life events in ways that make the events governable and prejudice certain policy options. Three elements of the Jaws Effect are reviewed including the intentionality of the shark, perception that these events are fatal and the belief that ‘the shark’ must be killed. These elements are applied to a case study of policy responses to shark bite episodes in Western Australia in 2000, 2003, 2011 and 2014. The reasons why this political device may not always work are also suggested.
Australian Journal of Political Science, DOI: 10.1080/10361146.2014.989385