Contemporary Issues of the Semiotics of Law

Edited by: Anne Wagner, Tracey Summerfield, Farid Samir Benavides Vanegas

The law is a symbolic construction and therefore rests on a variety of undertakings. What gives law its meaning is, for some, ideology, and for others, the welfare of the majority. However, what is manifest is a conception of the law as a material structure that carries symbols of everyday life. The analyses that are made in the law and semiotics movements show that the law's symbolism cannot be understood by reference only to itself, a strictly 'legal' meaning. It is a symbol that conveys life, a symbol that in itself is contaminated with life, politics, morality and so on. Contemporary Issues of the Semiotics of Law is a collection of different papers examining the institution of the law, in combination with, and as part of, a multiplicity of sign systems. The law can be understood as part of a global system of meaning; and despite the homogenizing threat of globalization, the play of legal meaning retains a socio-historical specificity. The global issues of human migration, human rights, colonization and transnational power are played out in local spaces, in the public discourses through which they are given localized representation, in moments of activism, and as a tool of subversion. The law is a rhetorical device which at once constitutes these global and local truths but which is also constituted by them.

275 pages

Publication Date: 9/16/2005
Format: Cloth
ISBN: 9781841135458

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