This article discusses the processing of social dissent and its media relevance in East German society in the 1970s and 1980s. The Gegenwartskriminalfilm (contemporary crime movie) Polizeiruf 110 and the courtroom television show Der Staatsanwalt hat das Wort are fruitful film sources for analyzing the specific ways in which social reality and social inequality were constructed and negotiated in the Communist state. Social images as mirror and manifestation of effective public attention to and the perception of social problems shed light on the social symbolic order: They reveal the opposition of “good” and “bad” behavior, with a contrast in their symbolic representations.

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