Introduction: Popular cultures and the law

Collis, Christy & Bainbridge, Jason G. (2005) Introduction: Popular cultures and the law. Continuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies, 19(2), pp. 159-164.

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Emerging from the uptake of popular cultural studies by legal scholars, and in response to the traditional disciplinary segregation of the two, two key assumptions animate the articles in this special issue: first, that law is cultural—'jurisdiction', as Ford points out, 'is a set of [social] practices, not a preexisting thing in which practices occur' (Ford, 2001, p. 203)--; and second, that popular culture intersects with the law in far more complex and constitutive ways than the representational. The emerging concept of 'legal consciousness', as Lieve Gies explains in her article, demonstrates the mutually-constitutive relations between popular cultures and the law. Legal consciousness, derived from Foucauldian understandings of the micro and macro tactics of power, asserts that law is not simply a set of rules in books (the "black letter" approach to the law) applied vertically to popular cultures; but rather, that law and popular cultures are in a horizontal relationship in which law is understood, articulated, contested, validated and ultimately brought into full existence through its practice and its negotiation in the everyday. Similarly, law is one of the technologies through which culture produces, defines, and maintains itself. Blomley explains this horizontality in his study of legal spatialities by making the point that 'rather than seeking to bridge the gap between law and [cultural] space, the argument here is that there is no gap to bridge' (Blomley, 1994, p. 37). Law and popular cultures, in short, are mutually-constitutive; the task for scholars now is to trace the products and the processes of their relationships.

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ID Code: 4604
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: cultural studies, popular culture, law and society
DOI: 10.1080/10304310500084335
ISSN: 1469-3666
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > COMMUNICATION AND MEDIA STUDIES (200100)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > CULTURAL STUDIES (200200)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING (190000) > FILM TELEVISION AND DIGITAL MEDIA (190200)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2005 Taylor and Francis
Copyright Statement: First published in Continuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies 19(2):pp. 159-164.
Deposited On: 05 Jul 2006 00:00
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2017 14:38

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