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Jack Bauer Syndrome: Hollywood's Depiction of National Security Law

Southern California Interdisciplinary Law Journal, Vol. 17, p. 279, 2008

U Iowa Legal Studies Research Paper No. 09-13

23 Pages Posted: 26 Mar 2009  

Tung Yin

Lewis & Clark Law School

Date Written: March 17, 2009

Abstract

In this Article, which was presented at the Law & Humanities Section Panel at the 2008 Annual AALS Conference, I examine the way that the Fox television series "24" portrays two issues relevant to national security law: the use of torture to extract information in order to stop an imminent terrorist attack, and the depiction of Arabs as villains (and non-villains) with the concomitant impact on racial profiling and other stereotyping of Arab-Americans and Arabs. I conclude that the depiction of torture is narratively stacked in favor of government agent Jack Bauer. I also conclude that "24" attempts to balance its portrayal so that not all villains are Arabs, and not all Arabs are villains. However, I point out points of improvement in this area.

Keywords: Jack Bauer, 24, television, torture, racial profiling, terrorism

JEL Classification: Z00

Suggested Citation

Yin, Tung, Jack Bauer Syndrome: Hollywood's Depiction of National Security Law (March 17, 2009). Southern California Interdisciplinary Law Journal, Vol. 17, p. 279, 2008; U Iowa Legal Studies Research Paper No. 09-13. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1361972

Tung Yin (Contact Author)

Lewis & Clark Law School ( email )

10015 S.W. Terwilliger Blvd.
Portland, OR 97219
United States

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