Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1105022
 
 

Footnotes (52)



 


 



The People's Court: A Review of MacNeil, Lex Populi


Jeanne L. Schroeder


Yeshiva University - Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law

March 1, 2008

Cardozo Legal Studies Research Paper No. 226

Abstract:     
William MacNeil's book is that rarest of rarae aves - a serious legal study that is fun to read. As its name implies, the book examines 'people's law' or, more loosely, 'pop law' - law as reflected by contemporary popular culture. More precisely, MacNeil shows how popular culture can give us insights into both lay (mis)understandings of law as well as lofty jurisprudential theory.

What distinguishes this work from many law-and-literature studies is not just his choice of texts. MacNeil avoids literature and cinema in favor of mass market entertainment and cult favorites. MacNeil's point is that the scope of law cannot be confined to the legal. Following the European tradition of speculative theory, he sees law not as an autonomous field, but as an inherent and essential part of the symbolic - the social or intersubjective order that also includes language and sexuality. Law is not that which goes on in courts, but that which structures both social relationships and subjectivity.

As such, the symbolic order, which includes law, does not merely rule our trials and behavior, it inhabits our fantasies and haunts our nightmares. To know ourselves we must understand law, and vice versa. One way we can glimpse both is in the vulgar, everyday entertainments that occupy so much of our imagination and waste so much of our time.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 16

Keywords: law and culture, popular culture, law and literature, critical theory

working papers series





Download This Paper

Date posted: March 11, 2008 ; Last revised: September 30, 2008

Suggested Citation

Schroeder, Jeanne L., The People's Court: A Review of MacNeil, Lex Populi (March 1, 2008). Cardozo Legal Studies Research Paper No. 226. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1105022 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1105022

Contact Information

Jeanne L. Schroeder (Contact Author)
Yeshiva University - Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law ( email )
55 Fifth Ave.
New York, NY 10003
United States
212-790-0211 (Phone)
212-790-0205 (Fax)
Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 1,299
Downloads: 143
Download Rank: 122,686
Footnotes:  52

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo6 in 0.344 seconds