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Scientific article
Open access
English

Where the physical world meets the digital world: representations of power structures and cyberspace in television series set in New York

Published inTV/Series, no. 18
Publication date2020
Abstract

This article analyzes, within television series of the past twenty years, the tensions and power relations surrounding the private, intimate, and secret spheres, through the constant renegotiation of a dyadic structure linking the physical and the digital worlds. Can secrets be kept and people remain anonymous in a sprawling megalopolis? This article focuses on four series that are different in genre and audience, but share two characteristics: these tensions and constant renegotiations are at the heart of their narratives, and they are all set in the iconic megalopolis that is New York City. Person of Interest (CBS, 2011-2016) features mass surveillance controlled by an artificially intelligent system; Gossip Girl (The CW, 2007-2012) pits the gilded youth of the Upper East Side against the eponymous blogger; Mr Robot (USA Network, 2015-2019) presents itself as a direct heir of the cyberpunk genre; finally, Elementary (CBS, 2012-2019) depicts a fragmented city held together by a ubiquitous digital clout that the investigators have to face up to. Our comparative politico-spatial analysis of these four series will thus address contemporary representations of the complex relationships between the physical and the digital worlds.

Keywords
  • Narratology
  • Urban sociology
  • Megalopolis
  • Cyberspace
  • New York City
Affiliation Not a UNIGE publication
Citation (ISO format)
AMBAL, Julie, FAVARD, Florent. Where the physical world meets the digital world: representations of power structures and cyberspace in television series set in New York. In: TV/Series, 2020, n° 18. doi: 10.4000/tvseries.4623
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Article (Published version)
accessLevelPublic
Identifiers
ISSN of the journal2266-0909
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561downloads

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Creation02/09/2021 3:54:00 PM
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