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Aspects of Class in British and American TV Crime Fiction


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Žilić, Tomislav. (2014). Aspects of Class in British and American TV Crime Fiction. Diploma Thesis. Filozofski fakultet u Zagrebu, Department of English Language and Literature. [mentor Cvek, Sven].

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This paper aims to explore how certain aspects of class function in British and American television crime fiction, while being aware that it is from the start a fundamentally different position which directly influences the analysis of these fictional narratives. The thesis of this paper is that specific historic formative factors have influenced the ways in which class is perceived in both the British and American collective imaginaries, and that these affect the ways in which class and society are perceived in the sphere of public discourse, i.e. popular television. Thus, the aim of this paper is to explore the ways in which two distinct cultural traditions have created their own specific modes of transmitting a social ideology through a popular genre which seems most suitable for confirming the existing positions, and possibly rethinking them. The theoretical part of this paper is concerned firstly with an overview of the social theory that can be derived from Karl Marx’s economic theoretical exploits and Max Weber’s sociology, which are suited for a practical analysis of class in crime fiction since both rely on the notions that economic factors greatly influence one’s social position. The context for the different treatment of class in crime fiction is given by examining certain historical and social circumstances in Britain and America which have led to different ways in which class and other social issues are perceived. A practical analysis of selected British crime series showed that class functions as an important aspect of this type of fiction, by affirming the importance of various class identities and social issues. The analysis of American crime series was concerned with an exception, i.e. a series which deals with social issues in detail and rather successfully, which is a precedent in the American tradition. Thus, through practical analyses of several television crime series from both traditions, the idea that class functions in very specific ways in the collective imaginaries of Britain and America is confirmed.

Item Type: Diploma Thesis
Uncontrolled Keywords: class, collective imaginary, Marx, Weber, Bourdieu, capitalism, neoliberalism, The Wire, ideology, Midsomer Murders, TV, Inspector George Gently, HBO, crime fiction, American Studies, Margaret Thatcher, social stratification, status, social mobility, ITV, Inspector Morse, BBC, Ideological State Apparatus, class identity, race, class process, Inspector Lynley Mysteries, labour, working class, middle class, upper class
Subjects: English language and literature
Departments: Department of English Language and Literature
Supervisor: Cvek, Sven
Date Deposited: 01 Apr 2015 11:15
Last Modified: 01 Apr 2015 11:15

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