Objective: Analysis of a feature-length documentary dealing with a specific corporate harm.

Length: 8-10 Pages (Typed, Double-Spaced, 12 Point Font, 1” Margins)

One of the key themes of the first half of the course is that the study of corporate crime is impeded by a lack of knowledge and awareness regarding corporate harms and their effects. In light of what many have argued to be the slow decline of investigative journalism, one of the key vehicles for examining and publicizing the nature, causes, and effects of corporate harms is the feature length documentary. With this in mind, your task in this analytic paper is to select and then critically analyze a documentary relating to a specific type of corporate harm. The documentary may be chosen from the list below, or you may select your own documentary (in which case additional marks may be awarded for initiative and creativity). In the course of your paper, you will need to:

(1)  Identify the documentary you have selected and your reason(s) for selecting it.

(2)  Describe the key themes and core arguments advanced in the documentary (e.g. how is the harm in question defined and framed? what types of claims are made about this problem or issue?), and the techniques used by the filmmaker to communicate these themes (e.g. what types of presentation formats and storytelling devices are used in the film?).

(3)  Discuss the connections between the film and the concepts and themes examined in the first eight weeks of the course (e.g. does the film address or illustrate, whether directly or indirectly, any of the barriers to the knowledgeability of corporate harm that we discussed? does the film support one or more of the causal frameworks examined in the course?).

(4)  Provide an overall evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of the documentary and comment on its significance in raising public awareness regarding the harm in question and potentially affecting social change.

In conducting your analysis, you must draw from and incorporate at leastthree academic sources selected from the course readings and at leastthree from your own outside research. These sources can be used in any of the four sections, although they will likely be most helpful in discussing connections to course themes (section #3), and evaluating the strengths and limitations of the film including the validity of its claims and the extent to which they are supported by the available research literature (section #4). In citing these sources, please use the referencing guidelines outlined below. A formal bibliography is required for this assignment. It is also imperative that you carefully proof-read your paper as marks will be deducted for both spelling and grammatical errors, as well as awkward and/or unclear sentences.

Sample Documentaries

Black Gold                                                                                                                                 

A Crude Awakening: The Oil Crash                           

Burning Water

Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price

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