Introduction — Popular Cultures and the Law

Article


Collis, Christy and Bainbridge, Jason. 2005. "Introduction — Popular Cultures and the Law." Continuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies. 19 (2), pp. 159-164. https://doi.org/10.1080/10304310500084335
Article Title

Introduction — Popular Cultures and the Law

ERA Journal ID34681
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsCollis, Christy (Author) and Bainbridge, Jason (Author)
Journal TitleContinuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies
Journal Citation19 (2), pp. 159-164
Number of Pages6
Year2005
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Place of PublicationAustralia
ISSN1030-4312
1469-3666
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/10304310500084335
Web Address (URL)https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10304310500084335
Abstract

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.

Keywordslegal geography; cultural studies
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020470299. Cultural studies not elsewhere classified
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Byline AffiliationsQueensland University of Technology
University of Queensland
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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