Gender and Diversity: New Entanglements in Prime Time Crime

Drew Humphries, Rutgers University - Camden

ABSTRACT
This study examines selected images of gender, race, and class as they are projected against a background of violence in the long running and acclaimed crime series, Law and Order. Within the stylized format of a police procedural, the research question is this: how are actors "doing gender" while they are also effecting or reacting to homicidal violence? The study focuses on "entanglements," that is staged interactions between actors of diverse backgrounds to provide the rich description required for systematic assessment. Findings suggest that although "Law and Order" involves diverse actors, the series continues to frame gender in stereotypical terms and to locate violence within a matrix of interpersonal relationships.

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Updated 05/20/2006