Graduate student Sinan Erensu added clips from HBO's The Wire to the Digital Content Library, and his descriptions of these clips are available in the Sociology Resources site. Instructors are encouraged to use The Wire collection in classes.
Graduate student Sinan Erensu added twenty clips from The Wire to the Digital Content Library, and his descriptions of these clips are available in the Sociology Resources site. Usually referred to as the best television show ever, HBO's the Wire retains its popularity although it has been almost three years since the last time it was aired. The Wire is not just a popular culture product. It is also an intellectual, and increasingly an academic text. So far, there have been several journal special issues, academic conferences, and essay anthologies organized on the show. Beyond being an intellectual and academic product in its own right, the Wire is becoming an educational tool as the number of courses offered on the series has already reached double digits. Sociologists, anthropologists, urban theorists, criminologists as well as visual studies scholars from Duke, UW-Madison, Harvard, and Washington State have designed classes around The Wire by assigning students a total of 20 to 60 hours of visual material each semester. The interest of academics, and especially sociologists, in the Wire is not surprising. The show addresses a wide range of social issues facing the United States, including urban decay, race relations, the criminal system, education, the media, the weakening of unions, drug addiction, homelessness, gender inequality, local politics, social class, etc. Moreover, The Wire brings together social critique and a literary narrative with characters in real life fullness. Detailed descriptions and keywords for easier navigation are accessible on the Sociology Resources site. It is hoped that this collection will be used widely in various classes offered in the Sociology Department and enriched by future cohorts. Perhaps it will culminate in an offering of the first UMN class structured around the Wire.