The Representations of Race and Ethnicity on NYPD Blue and Law & Order
Koski, Melissa F. “The Representations of Race and Ethnicity on NYPD Blue and Law & Order”, Boston College, 2007. http://hdl.handle.net/2345/375.
The purpose of the study is to look at the representations of race in the popular television genre, the crime drama. An analysis of episodes of Law & Order and NYPD Blue was utilized to discover what portrayals the show contains of ethnicity in New York City, with an emphasis on the depictions of the victim of the crime, the perpetrator, and the criminal justice personnel. Along with these variables, theoretical analysis was taken into consideration. Results showed that although whites make up the majority of the characters on the programs, blacks and Hispanics do not always portray lesser roles. Blacks portrayed various high-powered roles, such as district attorney and other law enforcement officials, as did Hispanics to a lesser extent. When blacks were portrayed, however, they were most likely shown in a negative light. In terms of other races, Native Americans and Asians were nearly nonexistent on the episodes watched. Still, there were some qualifications to this argument, indicating that this area needs further study.