Date of Award

January 2017

Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Justice Studies

First Advisor

Judah Schept

Department Affiliation

Justice Studies

Second Advisor

Victoria E. Collins

Department Affiliation

Justice Studies

Third Advisor

Travis Linnemann

Department Affiliation

Justice Studies


Recognizing the importance of visual criminology and media studies in contemporary academic criminal justice studies, I attempt to contribute to the field by analyzing three themes found in Channel 4’s Black Mirror in relation to cultural fears of state control and the progression of technology. The themes, including state power and coercion, the spectacle of punishment, and panoptic surveillance, are placed in a popular criminological framework in order to examine the attitudes and beliefs of the culture in which they were produced and for whom they are intended. I conclude that Black Mirror provides a social commentary on the themes of state control, punishment, and surveillance, with respect to the role technology plays in extending the scope of the state’s power.