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Sunday, 16 May 2010

University of York offers degree course on The Wire

Laughable though it sounds, The Wire, a cult US television series about the fight against crime in Baltimore, has become the subject of a British university course. The American police show will be studied at the University of York from this autumn as part of its sociology degree.

The 10-week module, thought to be the first of its kind in the Britain, will be offered to all final year students. Titled The Wire as Social Science Fiction?, it will use the HBO series to look at topics including class, race, political process and the city.

The lecturer behind the course, Professor Roger Burrows, head of sociology at the university, believes the popular show could challenge traditional methods of teaching and presenting social science.

"We spend an enormous amount of our time trying to craft books and articles that are read by so few people and it could challenge how we represent the work that we do in the academe. I find it odd that we're still using 19th and 20th century forms as a way of disseminating what we do."

Can't but agree as most sociology courses these days are based on antique texts like those of Margaret Mead and similar old crusties, so anything that makes use of modern technology and ideas has to be a welcome addition to the sociology canon.

One wonders what will be next on the list of new degree courses? How about a degree in The BBC six O' clock news!! Survivor? The Apprentice? Or my favorite - The TeleTubbies? Who said the world is increasingly dumbing down to the populace nowadays? Never! I can just see Detective McNulty now putting in a request for a transfer!

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