Visual law

The changing signifiers of law in popular visual culture

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookChapter

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

This chapter uses Saussurean semiotics to explore how law is culturally defined through popular visual media and how these media representations contribute to wider understandings of both law's functioning and its limitations. It profiles four signifiers of law in popular visual media: the father, the lawyer, the policeman and the vigilante and explores the relationship between them, analysing the impact each of these signifiers has on the corresponding signified of law and their connections to justice and the rule of law. The primary texts I will be looking at are the US television series Law & Order (NBC) and Dexter (Showtime) and the UK series Life on Mars (BBC). Following Bennett and Woollacott's study (1987, Bond and Beyond: The Political Career of a Popular Hero. London: Methuen) these examples are supported by a deliberately wide-ranging series of secondary media texts, with some slippage between filmic and televisual texts, as any other approach runs the risk of being too limiting, abstracting texts from the wider culture which both elucidates their meaning and demonstrates how widespread these ideas of law truly are.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProspects of Legal Semiotics
EditorsAnne Wagner, Jan Broekman
Place of PublicationDordrecht, Netherlands
PublisherSpringer
Chapter7
Pages193-215
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9789048193431
ISBN (Print)9789048193424
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Law
political career
television series
BBC
constitutional state
semiotics
lawyer
Visual Culture
father
justice
Visual Media

Cite this

Bainbridge, J. (2011). Visual law: The changing signifiers of law in popular visual culture. In A. Wagner, & J. Broekman (Eds.), Prospects of Legal Semiotics (pp. 193-215). Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-90-481-9343-1_7
Bainbridge, Jason. / Visual law : The changing signifiers of law in popular visual culture. Prospects of Legal Semiotics. editor / Anne Wagner ; Jan Broekman. Dordrecht, Netherlands : Springer, 2011. pp. 193-215
@inbook{d70726914bbf459a8eb6b72ecbf16107,
title = "Visual law: The changing signifiers of law in popular visual culture",
abstract = "This chapter uses Saussurean semiotics to explore how law is culturally defined through popular visual media and how these media representations contribute to wider understandings of both law's functioning and its limitations. It profiles four signifiers of law in popular visual media: the father, the lawyer, the policeman and the vigilante and explores the relationship between them, analysing the impact each of these signifiers has on the corresponding signified of law and their connections to justice and the rule of law. The primary texts I will be looking at are the US television series Law & Order (NBC) and Dexter (Showtime) and the UK series Life on Mars (BBC). Following Bennett and Woollacott's study (1987, Bond and Beyond: The Political Career of a Popular Hero. London: Methuen) these examples are supported by a deliberately wide-ranging series of secondary media texts, with some slippage between filmic and televisual texts, as any other approach runs the risk of being too limiting, abstracting texts from the wider culture which both elucidates their meaning and demonstrates how widespread these ideas of law truly are.",
author = "Jason Bainbridge",
year = "2011",
doi = "10.1007/978-90-481-9343-1_7",
language = "English",
isbn = "9789048193424",
pages = "193--215",
editor = "Wagner, {Anne } and Broekman, {Jan }",
booktitle = "Prospects of Legal Semiotics",
publisher = "Springer",
address = "Netherlands",

}

Bainbridge, J 2011, Visual law: The changing signifiers of law in popular visual culture. in A Wagner & J Broekman (eds), Prospects of Legal Semiotics. Springer, Dordrecht, Netherlands, pp. 193-215. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-90-481-9343-1_7

Visual law : The changing signifiers of law in popular visual culture. / Bainbridge, Jason.

Prospects of Legal Semiotics. ed. / Anne Wagner; Jan Broekman. Dordrecht, Netherlands : Springer, 2011. p. 193-215.

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookChapter

TY - CHAP

T1 - Visual law

T2 - The changing signifiers of law in popular visual culture

AU - Bainbridge, Jason

PY - 2011

Y1 - 2011

N2 - This chapter uses Saussurean semiotics to explore how law is culturally defined through popular visual media and how these media representations contribute to wider understandings of both law's functioning and its limitations. It profiles four signifiers of law in popular visual media: the father, the lawyer, the policeman and the vigilante and explores the relationship between them, analysing the impact each of these signifiers has on the corresponding signified of law and their connections to justice and the rule of law. The primary texts I will be looking at are the US television series Law & Order (NBC) and Dexter (Showtime) and the UK series Life on Mars (BBC). Following Bennett and Woollacott's study (1987, Bond and Beyond: The Political Career of a Popular Hero. London: Methuen) these examples are supported by a deliberately wide-ranging series of secondary media texts, with some slippage between filmic and televisual texts, as any other approach runs the risk of being too limiting, abstracting texts from the wider culture which both elucidates their meaning and demonstrates how widespread these ideas of law truly are.

AB - This chapter uses Saussurean semiotics to explore how law is culturally defined through popular visual media and how these media representations contribute to wider understandings of both law's functioning and its limitations. It profiles four signifiers of law in popular visual media: the father, the lawyer, the policeman and the vigilante and explores the relationship between them, analysing the impact each of these signifiers has on the corresponding signified of law and their connections to justice and the rule of law. The primary texts I will be looking at are the US television series Law & Order (NBC) and Dexter (Showtime) and the UK series Life on Mars (BBC). Following Bennett and Woollacott's study (1987, Bond and Beyond: The Political Career of a Popular Hero. London: Methuen) these examples are supported by a deliberately wide-ranging series of secondary media texts, with some slippage between filmic and televisual texts, as any other approach runs the risk of being too limiting, abstracting texts from the wider culture which both elucidates their meaning and demonstrates how widespread these ideas of law truly are.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84892305577&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1007/978-90-481-9343-1_7

DO - 10.1007/978-90-481-9343-1_7

M3 - Chapter

SN - 9789048193424

SP - 193

EP - 215

BT - Prospects of Legal Semiotics

A2 - Wagner, Anne

A2 - Broekman, Jan

PB - Springer

CY - Dordrecht, Netherlands

ER -

Bainbridge J. Visual law: The changing signifiers of law in popular visual culture. In Wagner A, Broekman J, editors, Prospects of Legal Semiotics. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer. 2011. p. 193-215 https://doi.org/10.1007/978-90-481-9343-1_7