Representations of the Police in Contemporary Russian Police TV-Series

30 Pages Posted: 11 Apr 2014

See all articles by Arsenii Khitrov

Arsenii Khitrov

University of Cambridge, the Department of Sociology

Date Written: April 11, 2014

Abstract

Studies of representations of the police are important because they affect what people think about the police as an organization, what people expect from day-to-day interactions with police officers, and how police officers themselves work in the media-saturated context of contemporary Western societies. This study is based on an approach, which does not strictly separate studies of the police as an organization from studies of how the police are represented. In this paper, I formulate a methodological framework for analyzing representations of societal and state institutions in TV series, and I use this framework to then answer the question of how the police are represented in contemporary police TV series in Russia. This paper based on a single-case semiotic study of a popular Russian TV series called Glukhar’. I consider the show’s social and cultural contexts as well as its symbolic structures, such as visual and audial elements and its narrative. I develop a narrative model of the show, argue that the most prominent motif of the show is justification of the police’s illegal actions, and finally build a typology of these justifications. I propose a detailed analysis of two types of justifications and ultimately conclude that the TV show represents the police estranged from the state but not from society. Finally, I argue that my methodological framework can be applied to other TV series in studies, which address representations of societal and state institutions.

Keywords: representation, police, TV, series, legitimacy, Russia, crime, drama

JEL Classification: Z

Suggested Citation

Khitrov, Arsenii, Representations of the Police in Contemporary Russian Police TV-Series (April 11, 2014). Higher School of Economics Research Paper No. WP BRP 41/HUM/2014. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2423675 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2423675

Arsenii Khitrov (Contact Author)

University of Cambridge, the Department of Sociology ( email )

Free School Lane
Cambridge, Cambridgeshire CB2 3RQ
United Kingdom
01223 (3)34520 (Phone)
01223 (3)34550 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://https://cambridge.academia.edu/khitrov

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
92
Abstract Views
790
rank
286,416
PlumX Metrics