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Zaman, B. Soldz, S. (2017). Why Cannibal? Representation and Defense in the Meiwes “German Cannibal” Case. Int. J. Appl. Psychoanal. Stud., 14(1):69-80.

(2017). International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies, 14(1):69-80

Why Cannibal? Representation and Defense in the Meiwes “German Cannibal” Case

Bashiran Zaman and Stephen Soldz

We examined the construction of media reporting on the Meiwes “cannibal” case where two consensual adults gratified fantasies resulting in the death, dismemberment and partial consumption of one. We found the media imposed a traditional but ill-fitting predator-prey frame, contributing to omissions relating to sexuality and death, the utilization of cultural “Othering” and the presence of the defenses of intellectualization and humor; thus distracting us against anxiety from our own mortality. This study suggests the relationship between the British media and public in crime reporting is not passive but reciprocal: the media creates but also responds to public fantasies/desires.

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