Early Cinema and Juvenile Crime in Scotland: Edinburgh’s Chief Constable at the 1917 Cinema Commission

  • Julia Bohlmann University of Glasgow

Abstract

The enthusiastic relationship between children, adolescents and early cinema was observed with some unease in 1910s Britain. The Cinema Commission, set up by the National Council of Public Morals in 1917, was the first enquiry into the impact of cinema on children and young people in Great Britain and marks a significant moment in the modern discourse on children’s media consumption and juvenile behaviour that is still on-going and transcends national boundaries. One of the Commission’s key concerns was to investigate the link between the popularity of cinema-going among children and rising juvenile delinquency. This article discusses in detail the contribution of Chief Constable Roderick Ross from Edinburgh to the Commission, who challenged the notion of such a link. The paper employs a historiographical research methodology, complementing the reading of Ross’s statement with an analysis of the Scottish press and local municipal archival material. In that way it contextualises Ross’s account in view of the distinct connotations of local censorship discourse in Scotland and reveals the ambiguities and complexity that it entailed.
Published
October 8, 2014
How to Cite
BOHLMANN, Julia. Early Cinema and Juvenile Crime in Scotland: Edinburgh’s Chief Constable at the 1917 Cinema Commission. Networking Knowledge: Journal of the MeCCSA Postgraduate Network, [S.l.], v. 6, n. 4, oct. 2014. ISSN 1755-9944. Available at: <http://ojs.meccsa.org.uk/index.php/netknow/article/view/347>. Date accessed: 28 may 2017.