SpcTop/Breaking Down Break Bad
Term: January 2022 - January Term - online (12/28/2021 - 01/21/2022)
Grade Mode: Letter Grading
Times & Locations
This course will be taught in an asynchronous format.
Breaking Bad. Orange is the New Black. Prime Suspect. CSI. SVU. The Closer. Criminal Minds. The Wire. Bones. Law and Order. Sherlock. The Sopranos. Weeds. Batman. Dexter. Oz. The Shield. Sons of Anarchy. Chicago PD. Justified. Luther. Without a Trace. Prison Break. Charles Angels. Reno 911! How to Get Away with Murder. Midsomer Murders. Inspector Morse. NCSI. Elementary. And many more. Our televisions and computer screens have become the vehicles through which we understand crime. In a few minutes time, the local news informs us of the multitude of criminal exploits in our town and across the globe. In an hour of TV time, a gritty drama unfolds in which troubled police detectives overcome their neuroses to capture what we thought were elusive lawbreakers. In less than a few hours, our heroes spring to action and defeat our nemeses who threaten our way of life. A few minutes, a few hours, or a few days can be squandered on the internet, pouring over the latest crime stories or streaming our favorite crime program. Fictional story lines range from attempts at gritty realism to statistically improbable ludicrousness. Both fictional accounts and real crimes depicted in our media enrage and entertain the public. But what else do these stories do? Careful analysis reveals the impactful narratives on justice behind these cultural artifacts. This course will explore how media frames our discussions on crime and justice. We will also analyze how these justice narratives affect our lives and world in real and meaningful ways. In this course, we will consider the intersections of justice studies, crime/delinquency, policy/law, and media. Employing case studies, we will critically analyze depictions of crime, criminals, and law enforcement in popular culture. Specific attention is placed to the following areas: the social construction of crime and justice; the structure and influence of media; and the implications of media portrayals of crime for policy, law, and our understandings of deviancy. Students are invited to explore a multitude of theories, ideas, and scholarship as they learn about this dynamic field of study.