Culture in Urban Neighborhoods

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The HBO series; The Wire (2008) is an excellent show that examines the hardships and troubles that many face while residing in urban areas. The Wire portrays the daily lives of those living in the city of Baltimore, Maryland for what it is. The show does not hide any details of the true issues people face living in this area. The Wire depicts three central themes surrounding urban areas: the drug trade, organizational dysfunction, and the role of the media influencing public views. These three themes can be seen throughout the television show as well as while viewing race and crime as a whole. Drugs seem to be an issue everywhere. Just like alcohol, the drug trade is not a primary issue for one race. Drugs serve a heavy impact to all those involved. Drugs are not just reserved to those that use them, but also to the manufacturers and distributors of the drugs. An excerpt from Anderson (1990) involves a former dealer describing the drug culture. He states, “The way I see it, there’s top dogs, middle dogs, and low dogs. The top dogs are the guys with the money, dudes with the cars…the middle dogs are the ones who sell drugs for the top dogs…and they sell it to the low dogs” (p. 7). However, it does not stop there. Drugs also affect the family and friends of those involved. Many residing within areas centered on drugs often times express feelings of anxiety and fear. Wacquant (2007) states that petty theft, drug use, the resale of stolen goods, vandalism, and alcoholism are the most visible form of delinquency (p. 208). Drugs are not only a problem for older generations, but often times those in younger generations become involved in the drug trade as well. According to Anderson (1990), “Children who become deeply engaged in t... ... middle of paper ... ...themselves and their futures through education. Funding should definitely be more evenly distributed to ensure proper education for those living in both areas. Culture seen in The Wire appears to be correlated with research on organizational dysfunction. Research as well as The Wire depicts politics and the public school system in the same manner. The final theme portrayed within race, crime, and The Wire is the media’s influence on public views. The media plays a large role in influencing the views of the public. What the media decides to air is broadcast to the whole world as what is “right” so discretion should be used in reporting information. Blacks already carry a large stigma for many reasons, however the media should not reinforce this. Anderson (1990) states that many learn to fear minorities based on crimes seen on television as well as in the newspaper.
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