By Mareike Jenner
The best way detectives entry and accomplish the 'truth' a couple of crime is a vital indicator of ways they relate to modern political advancements. This booklet explores those tools of detection and positions the style in a selected political, aesthetic, narrative and business context.
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Extra resources for American TV Detective Dramas: Serial Investigations
As detectives cannot, or do not willingly, move outside ideological systems, exposing underlying binaries, as described by Lévi-Strauss, does not actually lead to change. Rather, an insistence on rigid binaries leaves little room to explore in-between spaces, misunderstandings, slippages or how competing ideologies relate to each other. Yet, rational-scientiﬁc methods of detection rely on binary structures to decode the world. Due to their inﬂexible nature, these binary structures are interpreted here as conservative, though the term does not necessarily need to be associated with a political right (as will become clearer in the analysis of Investigating Detection 25 1970s dramas in Chapter 6).
Methods of detection are used here as a way to access and analyse the highly diverse detective genre. As outlined, rational-scientiﬁc and irrational-subjective 38 American TV Detective Dramas methods of detection have far-reaching literary roots, and these different traditions and conventions still dominate the detective genre. These methods of detection are also rooted in different epistemological traditions: they are linked to thought patterns of post-Enlightenment modernist thought and concepts of truth-ﬁnding intertwined with the later stages of modernist and postmodern thought.
While analytical distance, often expressed through emotional and aesthetic ‘coldness’, is a major aspect of rational-scientiﬁc methods of detection, irrational-subjective methods of detection are largely deﬁned through ‘closeness’. This ‘closeness’ can involve strong emotional connections between detectives and persons involved in the case, or physical investment when detectives are beaten, or beat and torture suspects themselves to get information. Investigative efforts are often guided by personal experience and emotions ranging from ‘hunches’, ‘gut feeling’ or ‘instinct’ to dreams, communication with spirits or alien abductions, even if these texts are often generic hybrids.
American TV Detective Dramas: Serial Investigations by Mareike Jenner