Introducing readers to the study of law, media and popular culture, this text, using three original case studies, re-examines the assumptions underpinning existing research and suggests alternatives.
Arguing that the study of law, media and popular culture should be embedded in the sociology of everyday life, the author focuses on four specific topics, in which there is scope for further development. These are the facts that:
the current literature in this field predominantly focuses on crime, neglecting the way the media portrays less spectacular, more run-of-the-mill legal topics
fiction, primarily, has captured scholars' attention, with remarkably less being paid to representations of law, other than crime, in factual media
textual analysis continues to be the preferred method in the study of law and the media
the literature is dominated by a fear of corrosive media effects, while the potential of the media and popular culture to improve public legal knowledge, facilitate access to justice and promote legal change remains largely undocumented.
Exploring the often uneasy relationship between law and popular culture from specific socio-legal perspectives, including systems theory, semiotics of law and legal pluralism, this book is an essential read for those studying and researching in this area.