The productivity of the poor: The Wire and the expropriation of the common | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 34, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 1466-0407
  • E-ISSN: 1758-9118



David Simon’s The Wire (2002–2008) focuses on Baltimore, Maryland, an American city hollowed out by the globalized economy. Simon, drawing from Harvard sociologist William Julius Wilson, portrays a city where the economy has left behind blue collar workers who are trained for jobs that no longer exist. These workers, in Simon’s view, do not have a place in a post-industrial economy. This view is challenged when confronted with Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri’s conception of immaterial production. Under this economic model, the urban poor are responsible for creating an immaterial social product that is then expropriated by David Simon for The Wire.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...
  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): Baltimore; economy; labour; post-industrial; production; television
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a success
Invalid data
An error occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error