‘Make enough money, everything else will follow’

Litigation and the signification of happiness in popular culture

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookChapter

Abstract

In this chapter, by taking litigation as a signi fi er, I want to explore the multiple levels of meaning litigation can have for both the lawyer and the litigant they represent by analysing popular visual media representations of litigation.I argue that mapping how fi lm and television have treated and tested the limits of litigation suggests a common argument arising from these texts: that while legal actions give us a sense of the social-involving litigants and practitioners in a contextual society of laws, codes and precedents-the law does not bring people together. Rather, according to these popular visual media representations, it keeps them alone and individuated, unable to express themselves without reference to a system that can only offer money as consolation. While litigation seeks to signify happiness, by most often equating it to monetary compensation, these texts suggest that those seeking ‘happiness’ must almost invariably look outside the legal system to fi nd it. Indeed, in their location of happiness outside ‘the system’, be that the law, society, bureaucracy or modernity more broadly, these texts are presenting an inherently Romantic notion of happiness-a transcendent idea of ‘happiness’ that also serves as an antidote to the ubiquity of modern litigiousness that I have termed a postmaterial happiness. The chapter therefore concludes with the suggestion that these popular visual media texts may in fact be offering a new level of signi fi cation; in bringing Romanticism back to the lawyer rather than the legal system, they present the lawyer as signifying a kind of Romantic pioneering spirit, successful in spite of the system of which they are a part.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLaw, Culture and Visual Studies
EditorsAnne Wagner, Richard Sherwin
Place of PublicationDordrecht, Netherlands
PublisherSpringer
Chapter36
Pages805-824
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9789048193226
ISBN (Print)9789048193219
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

popular culture
happiness
money
lawyer
legal system
code of laws
Romanticism
Law
bureaucracy
Litigation
Popular Culture
Signification
Happiness
modernity
television
Visual Media
Lawyers

Cite this

Bainbridge, J. (2014). ‘Make enough money, everything else will follow’: Litigation and the signification of happiness in popular culture. In A. Wagner, & R. Sherwin (Eds.), Law, Culture and Visual Studies (pp. 805-824). Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-90-481-9322-6_36
Bainbridge, Jason. / ‘Make enough money, everything else will follow’ : Litigation and the signification of happiness in popular culture. Law, Culture and Visual Studies. editor / Anne Wagner ; Richard Sherwin. Dordrecht, Netherlands : Springer, 2014. pp. 805-824
@inbook{944a80c32c69441198a209842ea15f2d,
title = "‘Make enough money, everything else will follow’: Litigation and the signification of happiness in popular culture",
abstract = "In this chapter, by taking litigation as a signi fi er, I want to explore the multiple levels of meaning litigation can have for both the lawyer and the litigant they represent by analysing popular visual media representations of litigation.I argue that mapping how fi lm and television have treated and tested the limits of litigation suggests a common argument arising from these texts: that while legal actions give us a sense of the social-involving litigants and practitioners in a contextual society of laws, codes and precedents-the law does not bring people together. Rather, according to these popular visual media representations, it keeps them alone and individuated, unable to express themselves without reference to a system that can only offer money as consolation. While litigation seeks to signify happiness, by most often equating it to monetary compensation, these texts suggest that those seeking ‘happiness’ must almost invariably look outside the legal system to fi nd it. Indeed, in their location of happiness outside ‘the system’, be that the law, society, bureaucracy or modernity more broadly, these texts are presenting an inherently Romantic notion of happiness-a transcendent idea of ‘happiness’ that also serves as an antidote to the ubiquity of modern litigiousness that I have termed a postmaterial happiness. The chapter therefore concludes with the suggestion that these popular visual media texts may in fact be offering a new level of signi fi cation; in bringing Romanticism back to the lawyer rather than the legal system, they present the lawyer as signifying a kind of Romantic pioneering spirit, successful in spite of the system of which they are a part.",
author = "Jason Bainbridge",
year = "2014",
doi = "10.1007/978-90-481-9322-6_36",
language = "English",
isbn = "9789048193219",
pages = "805--824",
editor = "Anne Wagner and Richard Sherwin",
booktitle = "Law, Culture and Visual Studies",
publisher = "Springer",
address = "Netherlands",

}

Bainbridge, J 2014, ‘Make enough money, everything else will follow’: Litigation and the signification of happiness in popular culture. in A Wagner & R Sherwin (eds), Law, Culture and Visual Studies. Springer, Dordrecht, Netherlands, pp. 805-824. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-90-481-9322-6_36

‘Make enough money, everything else will follow’ : Litigation and the signification of happiness in popular culture. / Bainbridge, Jason.

Law, Culture and Visual Studies. ed. / Anne Wagner; Richard Sherwin. Dordrecht, Netherlands : Springer, 2014. p. 805-824.

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookChapter

TY - CHAP

T1 - ‘Make enough money, everything else will follow’

T2 - Litigation and the signification of happiness in popular culture

AU - Bainbridge, Jason

PY - 2014

Y1 - 2014

N2 - In this chapter, by taking litigation as a signi fi er, I want to explore the multiple levels of meaning litigation can have for both the lawyer and the litigant they represent by analysing popular visual media representations of litigation.I argue that mapping how fi lm and television have treated and tested the limits of litigation suggests a common argument arising from these texts: that while legal actions give us a sense of the social-involving litigants and practitioners in a contextual society of laws, codes and precedents-the law does not bring people together. Rather, according to these popular visual media representations, it keeps them alone and individuated, unable to express themselves without reference to a system that can only offer money as consolation. While litigation seeks to signify happiness, by most often equating it to monetary compensation, these texts suggest that those seeking ‘happiness’ must almost invariably look outside the legal system to fi nd it. Indeed, in their location of happiness outside ‘the system’, be that the law, society, bureaucracy or modernity more broadly, these texts are presenting an inherently Romantic notion of happiness-a transcendent idea of ‘happiness’ that also serves as an antidote to the ubiquity of modern litigiousness that I have termed a postmaterial happiness. The chapter therefore concludes with the suggestion that these popular visual media texts may in fact be offering a new level of signi fi cation; in bringing Romanticism back to the lawyer rather than the legal system, they present the lawyer as signifying a kind of Romantic pioneering spirit, successful in spite of the system of which they are a part.

AB - In this chapter, by taking litigation as a signi fi er, I want to explore the multiple levels of meaning litigation can have for both the lawyer and the litigant they represent by analysing popular visual media representations of litigation.I argue that mapping how fi lm and television have treated and tested the limits of litigation suggests a common argument arising from these texts: that while legal actions give us a sense of the social-involving litigants and practitioners in a contextual society of laws, codes and precedents-the law does not bring people together. Rather, according to these popular visual media representations, it keeps them alone and individuated, unable to express themselves without reference to a system that can only offer money as consolation. While litigation seeks to signify happiness, by most often equating it to monetary compensation, these texts suggest that those seeking ‘happiness’ must almost invariably look outside the legal system to fi nd it. Indeed, in their location of happiness outside ‘the system’, be that the law, society, bureaucracy or modernity more broadly, these texts are presenting an inherently Romantic notion of happiness-a transcendent idea of ‘happiness’ that also serves as an antidote to the ubiquity of modern litigiousness that I have termed a postmaterial happiness. The chapter therefore concludes with the suggestion that these popular visual media texts may in fact be offering a new level of signi fi cation; in bringing Romanticism back to the lawyer rather than the legal system, they present the lawyer as signifying a kind of Romantic pioneering spirit, successful in spite of the system of which they are a part.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84955731016&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.mendeley.com/research/make-enough-money-everything-else-follow-litigation-signification-happiness-popular-culture

U2 - 10.1007/978-90-481-9322-6_36

DO - 10.1007/978-90-481-9322-6_36

M3 - Chapter

SN - 9789048193219

SP - 805

EP - 824

BT - Law, Culture and Visual Studies

A2 - Wagner, Anne

A2 - Sherwin, Richard

PB - Springer

CY - Dordrecht, Netherlands

ER -

Bainbridge J. ‘Make enough money, everything else will follow’: Litigation and the signification of happiness in popular culture. In Wagner A, Sherwin R, editors, Law, Culture and Visual Studies. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer. 2014. p. 805-824 https://doi.org/10.1007/978-90-481-9322-6_36