This innovative new work suggests that The Wire reflects, not simply a cultural take on contemporary America, but a structural critique of the conditions of late-modernity and global capitalism. As such, it is a visual text worth investigating and exploring for its nuanced examination of power, difference and inequality.
Deylami & Havercroft bring together nine essays addressing issues of interest to a range of academic fields in order to engage with this important cultural intervention that has transfixed audiences and sparked debate within the social scientific community. While the TV show is primarily focused upon the urban politics of Baltimore, the contributors to this volume read Baltimore as a global city. That is, they argue that the relations between race, class, power, and violence that the series examines only make sense if we understand that inner city Baltimore is a node in a larger global network of violence and economic inequality. The book is divided into three interrelated sections focusing on systemic and cultural violence, the rise and decline of national and state formations, and the dysfunctional and destructive forces of global capitalism.
Throughout the series the relation of the urban to the global is constantly being explored. This innovative new volume explains clearly how The Wire portrays this interaction, and what this representation can show social scientists interested in race, neo-liberal processes of globalization, criminality, gender, violence and surveillance.
INTRODUCTION: Everything is Connected, Shirin S. Deylami & Jonathan Havercroft PART ONE: Building States, Crumbling Nations, 1. It Can’t Be a Lie’: The Wire as Breaching Experiment, Joshua Page & Joe Soss 2. Classroom Democracy: De-mystifying the Civic Nation in The Wire, Paul Goode PART TWO: Neo-Liberalism, Capitalist Power and Social Resistance 3. The Politics of Knowledge Production: On Structure and the World of "The Wire, Isaac Kamola 4. Corruption as Solidarity: An Inverted Republicanism to Resist Inverted Totalitarianism, Jonathan Havercroft 5. The Limits of Neoliberalism: Market Rationality in The Wire, Elisabeth Anker PART THREE: Precarious Intersections 6. "It’s All in the Game": Masculinism, Mourning, and Violence in The Wire, Shirin S. Deylami 7. Seeing Gender Like a Wired State: The Missing Women of the Wire, Dara Z. Strolovitch & Naomi Murakawa
The Popular Culture World Politics (PCWP) book series is the forum for leading interdisciplinary research that explores the profound and diverse interconnections between popular culture and world politics. It aims to bring further innovation, rigor, and recognition to this emerging sub-field of international relations.
To these ends, the PCWP series is interested in various themes, from the juxtaposition of cultural artefacts that are increasingly global in scope and regional, local and domestic forms of production, distribution and consumption; to the confrontations between cultural life and global political, social, and economic forces; to the new or emergent forms of politics that result from the rescaling or internationalization of popular culture.
Similarly, the PCWP series wishes to provide a venue for work that explores the effects of new technologies and new media on established practices of representation and the making of political meaning. It encourages engagement with popular culture as a means for contesting powerful narratives of particular events and political settlements as well as explorations of the ways that popular culture informs mainstream political discourse. The PCWP series promotes investigation into how popular culture contributes to changing perceptions of time, space, scale, identity, and participation while establishing the outer limits of what is popularly understood as ‘political’ or ‘cultural’.
In addition to film, television, literature, and art, the PCWP series actively encourages research into diverse artefacts including sound, music, food cultures, gaming, design, architecture, programming, leisure, sport, fandom and celebrity. The series is fiercely pluralist in its approaches to the study of popular culture and world politics and is interested in the past, present, and future cultural dimensions of hegemony, resistance and power.