“Fox Tots Attack Shock”: Urban Foxes, Mass Media and Boundary-Breaching

Media Representations of the "Urban Fox"

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, a paper published in Environmental Communication: A Journal of Nature and Culture discusses how the incident became such a prominent “media event.” Alongside the contexts of the “silly season” and a period of political transition, it is argued 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.

The discussion moves towards 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.”

Read the full article online: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/17524032.2012.716370

*Any views expressed in this Press Release are not those of the Taylor & Francis Group.

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Taylor & Francis Group partners with researchers, scholarly societies, universities and libraries worldwide to bring knowledge to life. As one of the world’s leading publishers of scholarly journals, books, ebooks and reference works our content spans all areas of Humanities, Social Sciences, Behavioral Sciences, Science, and Technology and Medicine. From our network of offices in Oxford, New York, Philadelphia, Boca Raton, Boston, Melbourne, Singapore, Beijing, Tokyo, Stockholm, New Delhi and Johannesburg, Taylor & Francis staff provide local expertise and support to our editors, societies and authors and tailored, efficient customer service to our library colleagues.

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