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Law and Popular Culture

A Course Book (2nd Edition)


Michael Asimow and Shannon Mader

Both law and popular culture pervade our lives. Popular culture constructs our perceptions of law and changes the way that players in the legal system behave. Now in its second edition, Law and Popular Culture: A Course Book explores the interface between two subjects of enormous importance to everyone – law and popular culture.
Each chapter takes a particular legally themed film or television show, such as Philadelphia, Dead Man Walking, or Law and Order, treating it as both a cultural text and a legal text.
The new edition has been updated with new photos and includes greater emphasis on television than in the first edition because there are so many DVDs of older TV shows now available.
Law and Popular Culture is written in an accessible and engaging style, without theoretical jargon, and can serve as a basic text for undergraduates or graduate courses and be taught by anyone who enjoys pop culture and is interested in law. An instructor’s manual is available on request from the publisher and author.


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ab_fm_t5 6/6/2013 8:24 AM Page ix acknowledge the assistance of Richard Abel, Dyanne Asimow, Stuart Banner, Paul Bergman, Samantha Black, Ray Browne, Drew Casper, Kimberle Crenshaw, John Denver, Steve Derian, Sharon Dolovich, Jennifer Factor, Sam Feldman, Steve Greenfield, Gillian Lester, Stefan Machura, Carrie Menkel-Meadow, Francis Nevins, Guy Osborn, Peter Robson, Charles Rosenberg, William Rubenstein, Gary Schwartz, Andrew Schepard, David Schultz, Brad Sears, Louis Schiff, Rafael Simon, Rob Waring, Dan Watanabe, and Steven Yeazell. Lastly, we would like to thank the students in Asimow’s seminars on Law and Popular Culture at UCLA Law School and at Stanford Law School. They inspired us to believe that it made sense to write a course book for a course that didn’t yet exist. Many of their ideas and comments found their way into the first and second editions of this book. Of course, we bear the responsibility for any errors or omissions. x | Acknowledgments ab_fm_t5 6/6/2013 8:24 AM Page x

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