February 1, 2011

Jack Bauer Syndrome

Tung Yin, Lewis and Clark Law School, has published Jack Bauer Syndrome: Hollywood's Depiction of National Security Law, at 17 S. Cal. Interdisc. L.J. 279 (2008), also presented at the 2008 AALS Section on Law and Humanities panel. Here is the 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.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

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