The September 2012 issue of Journal of Criminal Justice Education features an article by Ralph Taylor and Jillian Eidson on integrating The Wire into criminology courses. The article includes sample writing assignments and student reactions to the material.
“A challenge in any undergraduate communities and crime course is helping students understand how macro-level context affects the lives of individuals. This article describes one approach based on three characters in Season 2 (“The Port”) of “The Wire.” A multi-layered framework is outlined which prominently features William Julius Wilson's unemployment thesis. Data sources for illustrating how different parts of the model apply to the surrounding region and neighborhoods close to the port are noted. The narrative arcs for three central characters in Season 2 are described and each is connected to Wilson's thesis. Even though in-class screening time was limited, students' written work and questionnaire responses suggested that the material clarified key concepts. The approach described here is just one approach of the many which are feasible for a macro-level communities and crime course, or for integrating “The Wire” into criminal justice or criminology courses.”
For more about teaching The Wire, check out our podcast, “All the Pieces Matter: Teaching The Wire to Criminology Students” featuring Vik Gumbhir here.
Taylor and Eidson's article, “The Wire,” William Julius Wilson, and the Three Sobotkas: Conceptually Integrating ‘Season 2: The Port’ into a Macro-Level Undergraduate Communities and Crime Course.” can be found here.