'Fox Tots Attack Shock': Urban Foxes, Mass Media and Spacial Boundaries

Cassidy, Angela and Mills, Brett (2012) 'Fox Tots Attack Shock': Urban Foxes, Mass Media and Spacial Boundaries. Environmental Communication, 6 (4). pp. 494-511. ISSN 1752-4032

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Abstract

On June 7, 2010, UK media outlets reported that 9-month-old twins living in East London had been rushed to hospital following a “suspected fox attack”: the babies had been seriously injured. This story received sustained coverage for several months, and became the focus of debate over the behavior of urban foxes, and how they and humans should coexist. Using textual analysis to unravel the various discourses surrounding this moment, this paper discusses how the incident became such a prominent “media event.” Alongside the contexts of the “silly season” and a period of political transition, we argue that this incident breached a series of spatial boundaries that many societies draw between people and the “natural world,” from the “safest space” of a child's cot, to the categorizations made about animals themselves. We discuss the consequences of such boundary breaches, pointing to a deep confusion over the assignment of responsibility for, and expertise about, the figure of the “urban fox.”

Item Type: Article
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Environmental Sciences
University of East Anglia > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Groups > Film, Television and Media
Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Art, Media and American Studies
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Depositing User: Katherine Humphries
Date Deposited: 16 Jan 2013 15:58
Last Modified: 11 Mar 2019 16:30
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/40800
DOI: 10.1080/17524032.2012.716370

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