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March 15, 2011 11:58 AM   Subscribe

My girlfriend is writing her masters thesis about the series The Wire from the standpoint of a social worker. I'm looking for good sources for her e.g. she told me about a professor who teaches The Wire in his classes (see: Slate article).

If anybody happens to have had courses about The Wire (or a social analysis of any other TV series), has any good links or sources, it would be greatly appreciated.
posted by wolfr to Society & Culture (12 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Would talking to an actual social worker in Baltimore help?
posted by josher71 at 12:01 PM on March 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

You're probably referring to Jason Mittell, the professor who has taught the class on The Wire. His syllabus has good scholarly articles attached.

This book would probably get you started.

Finally, a less scholarly list of links, too.
posted by vautrin at 12:18 PM on March 15, 2011 [2 favorites]

Samuel Chambers, who teaches political theory at Johns Hopkins, wrote a book recently on television shows such as Six Feet Under, The L Word, Big Love, Buffy etc. It's not about The Wire, and is told from the perspective of political/queer theory rather than social work, but it might provide an interesting example of how one might write about contemporary television.

posted by slow, man at 12:42 PM on March 15, 2011

You might also want to check out Elijah Anderson (sociologist), author of "The Code of the Street", a sociological work on the moral codes of inner city life.

I assume you are aware that David Simon also wrote "The Corner" about drug dealers in Baltimore - in that book, he mentions a few actual social workers (amongst others, a woman who runs a community center for local youth).
posted by NekulturnY at 12:51 PM on March 15, 2011

I came in to recommend Jason Mittell, as well.
posted by synecdoche at 12:59 PM on March 15, 2011

Came here to second The Corner.
A gritty view of life on the streets from multiple perspectives.
posted by handbanana at 1:16 PM on March 15, 2011

I came in to second actual social workers as sources. She may have to talk to several before she meets interview subjects that meet her criteria: social worker, familiar with the show, willing to discuss how the two relate to one another. It will require some time and effort, but I think that some social workers would enjoy talking with someone about how their work intersects with pop culture.
posted by heathergirl at 1:54 PM on March 15, 2011

@Josher71 If she could talk to an actual social worker from Baltimore who is familiar with the Wire that would be awesome
posted by wolfr at 2:10 PM on March 15, 2011

I actually wrote mine on police discretion not to prosecute as depicted in TW. If she has access to hein online there were quite a few law theses relating to the show which should have decent bibliographies to refer to.
posted by nvly at 2:14 PM on March 15, 2011

I have the William Julius Wilson's course syllabus. Send me a message so that I can forward it to you.
posted by caelumluna at 11:18 PM on March 15, 2011 [2 favorites]

I know Todd Sodano (mentioned in the update to that Slate article), who taught classes at Syracuse. I will send him a link to this post.
posted by stefnet at 7:56 PM on March 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

Thanks for your help people. I knew I could count on MetaFilter!
posted by wolfr at 2:05 PM on March 17, 2011

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