I am going to be looking into the social, political and chronological elements of the television program Dexter (2006-2013)
- The Crime rate in Miami.
- Discrimination in the precinct.
- The danger of weapon access in the America.
- Expectations of middle class citizens.
- Economy in Miami during the time of production.
- Gang activity in Miami.
Crime is a big concern in Miami, It has over half the crime rate than the U.S. average for violent and property crimes. Specifically Murders, which is a big part in Dexter (2006).
Dexter (2006) is heavily revolved around murder. This could have been the main reason the show takes place there. The fact that Dexter is based in Miami make everything seem more realistic and it makes more sense that there is so many criminals to keep the series going for eight seasons. Although Dexter’s (2006) main focus is murder, they can add a range of criminal activities into the show as the crime rate is so high and it differs from bad to worse.
According to the Daily Mail, Miami is the worst place to live due to the crime rate, income and poverty levels. This could have also been a reason for Miami being the location choice as it adds effect due to the genre of the show.
There were many laws that made discrimination illegal which were placed in the 1960’s, if you thought you had been a victim of discrimination you have the right to sue your employer.
In Dexter there are a range of races and sexes employed in the police force. There isn’t any discrimination as through out the series they all have equal responsibility and some even rise to executive roles with in the precinct.
This could interest people as there is a wide range of different cultures within the same environment who of which with situations differently.
Access to weapons in America is really easy. There are many situations when children have accidental shot family or friends with the family rifle that lives on the living room wall. You can purchase all kinds of weapons in wall-mart which is the American equivalent of ASDA. All you need to buy a gun is to fill out a questionnaire about personal details and a background check. This could have influenced Dexter to take place in American as anyone being able to gain access to weapons and firearms will increase the crime rate, and as Dexter is heavily revolved around crime it was the best location to pick.
In Dexter the main character tries really hard to blend in and make himself as little of a suspect as possible. He does this by being normal, he lives with his girlfriend and has kids. He lives the stereotypical middle class life.
By being a blood splatter analyst in the Miami police force he has already set a standard of living for him and his family, he would be one of the last people you would expect to be any sort of criminal as he is on the side of the law.
The fact that Miami has such a huge crime rate and is inhabited by many different gangs also make Dexter less of a suspect as he follows all of the stereotypes.
Economy in Miami isn’t great, it is in the top ten most poor countries in America. There is many slum areas in Miami and the average Miami family earns less than £30,000. This may explain the amount of crime in the city.
The average unemployment rate in Miami is higher than the average of the United States. This isn’t represented in Dexter but could be linked back to amount of crime there is as it is the last result of money income for many people.
‘Miami-Dade Has the 7th Largest Gang Population in America’ (Munzenrieder, 2016). Gang activity and specifically Hispanic gangs play a big part in Dexter as a lot of his targets are criminals from gangs. In Miami gangs are a big problem as there is ‘230 documented gangs with 1,700 members‘ (Gangs said to be terrorizing Miami-Dade, 2011). They take part in drug trafficking and turf wars in which they shoot and kill rival gangs, this is what brings them to Dexter’s attention. The amount of gang activity in Miami could have been another reason for it to be set in Miami because of the amount of opportunity for Dexter.
Dexter was very much influenced by American Psycho (2000) which came out six years before Dexter and follows similar aspects of it. The main characters both live a double life and are serial killers by night however they have different morals.
Dexter was taught by his adopted father to use his urges for good by only killing criminals or wrong doers. However Patrick Bateman, main protagonist of American Psycho kills innocent ‘Many of Bateman’s murder victims are homeless people.’ (Patrick Bateman, no date)
Although the characters are very different people, Bateman is mentally insane and will kill without any hesitation or any particular target. But Dexter will spend weeks, maybe months researching and following a target to make sure they have broken the law in some way or another and to be positive there is a good reason for them to be killed. This sets the barrier between good and evil and throughout Dexter it is difficult to decide which side of the barrier he is on, as he admittedly enjoys what he is doing but goes through so much to make sure he has the right man. However for Bateman it is clear that he is pure evil, only killing for the rush and the excitement, enjoying every single moment.
Advameg (2016) Crime in Miami, Florida (FL): Murders, rapes, robberies, assaults, burglaries, thefts, auto thefts, arson, law enforcement employees, police officers, crime map. Available at: http://www.city-data.com/crime/crime-Miami-Florida.html (Accessed: 12 October 2016).
Reporter, D. (2016) Welcome to Miami, the WORST city in America, study claims. Available at: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3666775/Welcome-Miami-WORST-city-America-Study-claims-Florida-s-party-hotspot-worse-crime-income-poverty-levels-US.html (Accessed: 12 October 2016).
Baron (2016) Discrimination in the workplace | baron & Herskowitz law firm. Available at: http://www.bhfloridalaw.com/workplace-discrimination/ (Accessed: 12 October 2016).
Smith, A. (2015) This is how easy it is to buy guns in America. Available at: http://money.cnn.com/2015/06/19/news/guns-background-checks/ (Accessed: 12 October 2016).
*, N. (2015) These are the 10 most ghetto cities in Florida. Available at: https://www.roadsnacks.net/these-are-the-10-most-ghetto-cities-in-florida/ (Accessed: 17 October 2016).
American Psycho (2000) Directed by Mary Harron .
Six feet under (2001) Directed by Laffz 00 .
Patrick Bateman (no date) Available at: http://villains.wikia.com/wiki/Patrick_Bateman (Accessed: 22 October 2016).
Munzenrieder, K. (2016) Miami-Dade has the 7th largest gang population in America. Available at: http://www.miaminewtimes.com/news/miami-dade-has-the-7th-largest-gang-population-in-america-6558798 (Accessed: 22 October 2016).