When Law Goes Pop: The Vanishing Line between Law and Popular Culture

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9780226752914: When Law Goes Pop: The Vanishing Line between Law and Popular Culture

The past few decades have seen the legal system entering American popular culture like never before, from the media blitzes surrounding high-profile trials to the countless television programs in which judges rule on everyday disputes. What, if anything, does this mean for the legal system itself? According to Richard K. Sherwin, it is a dangerous development—one that threatens to turn law into spectacle, undermining public confidence as legal style and logic begin to resemble advertising and public relations.

"Sherwin offers insightful, intriguing analyses of movies and other cultural products. His examination of legal discourse and popular culture will inform, enlighten, and even entertain."—William Halton, The Law and Politics Book Review

"[Sherwin's] knowledge of how media culture affects the courtroom is valuable, as is his rigorous examination. Can we prevent America's legal system from going 'pop'—losing its legitimacy by becoming just another part of popular culture? Given America's courtroom obsession . . . it's about time someone did some explaining."—Julie Scelfo, Brill's Content

"[A] brilliant analysis of the jury system in our media-saturated age. . . . [D]iscerning readers will see a truly integrative intelligence at work, proposing possible solutions rather than simply bemoaning problems."—Publishers Weekly

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Review:

Remember the national fascination with the televised Menendez brothers' trial? What about the episode of Law & Order in which the aristocratic Upper East Sider may or may not have pushed his wife into a coma? Oh, wait, that was the Claus von Bülow story--which was also made into a movie. This type of reciprocity of law and popular culture is of concern to NYU law professor Richard Sherwin. To Sherwin, the mingling of law and entertainment flattens discourse, occludes real understanding of the law and legal practices, and threatens democracy insofar as the public loses faith in "real law" when it does not conform to the law as seen at home, in popular culture, and on TV.

Sherwin analyzes the cultural and cognitive models at play in the telling and hearing of legal narratives and critiques the tools of meaning-making by looking closely at specific well-known cases and their outcomes. He also examines the use of public relations consultants to spin and provide a seductive coherence to their clients' cases (think of the "impromptu" press conferences on the courthouse steps). When Law Goes Pop is a rich and erudite critique of law as popular culture. It is a call to be alert to the deleterious effects of what another scholar, Doug Reed, has called "the juridico-entertainment complex," and a timely reminder of what is at stake. --J.R.

From the Back Cover:

Sherwin's work far exceeds in reach and sophistication much of what now passes for
popular culture studies...  Sherwin has presented a sophisticated account of the subtle changes in our legal culture induced by the growing reaches of popular culture. He provides a way of "reading" these changes (something like taking sonar readings to see what lies in the depths beyond what we most readily see and hear) and an interpretation of their practical effects...  
The forces of modern culture - theory, technology, and commerce - are bearing down on us. As these forces invade a social institution like law they are going to change, erode, and threaten the virtues we associate with law - stability, meaning-making, rationality, truth, justice. The changes must be observed, and the threat studied, and this is what Sherwin has done so well.
--James R. Elkins
West Virginia University 

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Richard K. Sherwin
Editore: The University of Chicago Press, United States (2000)
ISBN 10: 0226752917 ISBN 13: 9780226752914
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Descrizione libro The University of Chicago Press, United States, 2000. Hardback. Condizione libro: New. 2nd ed.. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. In recent years, millions of TV viewers have devoured images of the law. Amy Fisher, O.J. Simpson, Rodney King and JonBenet Ramsey have become household names. To meet popular demand we have a cable channel devoted to trials and police dramas 24 hours a day. Quick justice-dealing judges preside over TV courtrooms resolving real-life conflicts. What are the consequences when legal culture and popular culture dissolve into eath other? What happens, asks Richard K. Sherwin, when law goes pop? Sherwin, a law professor and former New York prosecutor, offers a pathbreaking interdisciplinary study of law and popular culture. He argues that in the welter of communication technologies, an unrestrained marketplace and postmodern ideas, law is increasingly becoming a spectacle, mimicking the style, techniques and visual logic of advertising and public relations. How will law continue to function when truth becomes interpretation and reality and fiction can no longer be separated? To answer these questions, Sherwin draws on a wealth of fascinating material: the contemporary storytelling strategies of lawyers; notoriously popular criminal cases in American legal history; representations of the law such as Errol Morris s The Thin Blue Line ; and examples of how lawyers and judges have used the media to legitimize the judicial process. The law can be a powerful and affirmative tool for realizing meaning in postmodern life, but not when it is buffeted by corrosive cultural practices. When Law Goes Pop is an examination of legal practice in today s world, one that should be needed by everyone concerned with the future of our legal system and the meaning we invest in it. Codice libro della libreria BTE9780226752914

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Descrizione libro 2000. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. Hardcover. The past few decades have seen the legal system entering American popular culture like never before, from the media blitzes surrounding high-profile trials to the countless te.Shipping may be from our Sydney, NSW warehouse or from our UK or US warehouse, depending on stock availability. 332 pages. 0.544. Codice libro della libreria 9780226752914

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