We talk about crime through multiple metaphors. Crime can spread through communities, infect neighborhoods and can at times require immunization and prevention. However crime can also prey on victims, its can savage areas. The metaphors of crime are varied, however the lense we choose is important.
Lera Boroditsky, a professor at USCD, published a study that looks at how different linguistic metaphors influence reasoning. The study focuses on two common metaphors for crime - crime is a beast and crime is a virus. Exposure to a single metaphorical lens is shown to possibly influence an individual's opinion of and solution to crime.
The Beast vs. Virus project brings this finding to life. Through a visceral and grabbing installation, the different approaches to talking about crime will be illuminated and contrasted. Our goal is to emphasize how language in itself can bias opinions and confuse logic. This project is currently in progress - more to come.