Jack Holland
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Ethics and inequality (in The Wire)
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This chapter argues that The Wire is more than an important cultural depiction of contemporary urban life; it presents and fosters a radical sociological imagination, which begs for action. It also argues that the show serves to highlight and draw attention to the social, economic, and racial inequality at the heart of America. By revealing the intricate and intimate interrelations between society's layers, races, and classes, the show forces viewers to confront the ethics of tolerating and benefiting from these inequalities. The chapter discusses inequality in the US and The Wire before turning to the show's normative political implications. The Wire demands an ethical response from viewers in two principal ways. First, The Wire is a story about social structure. Second, The Wire implicates its audience through the structural-relational account of individuals and institutions.

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Fictional television and American Politics

From 9/11 to Donald Trump


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