Dossiers

The Anthropology of “Robocop:” Finding New Audiences in Popular Media

The editors of Anthropoliteia would like to welcome a special guest post from Nolan Kline

Spoiler alert! This post reveals details about the new Robocop film.

As a kid, I loved the 1987 Robocop (even though I can’t recall how my parents allowed me to see it given its R rating and violent scenes).  Having grown up in the Detroit area and as a PhD candidate with research interests that all hinge on social inequality, it isn’t hard for me to understand now what I found so fascinating as a child about a film featuring a dystopian capitalist future. When I learned about the 2014 Robocop, admittedly I was excited to see it and interested in discovering whether the new film retained some of its social commentary roots. I was surprised to notice that the new film, more than the original, cut to the core of my current research interests around policing and health. The overlap with my scholarly interests led me to consider how I and other anthropologists might use popular media as a way to discuss anthropology with non-academic audiences.

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