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Law being ubiquitous in everyday life - Essay Example

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Law shapes the basis of a society and facilitates its member's behaviour. Law is often portrayed as a distant phenomenon, unreachable by the ordinary public, but in reality1 law is embedded in our everyday activities in an invisible way. For decades, media was considered a " window on the world2" providing reliable information about the legal system, which was passively accepted by its vulnerable consumers…
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Download file to see previous pages As result, this faith on media is not as strong as it used to be and today's audience is not passive like past, but highly active and critical to media reports, treating it as 'one' of the sources in shaping their understanding of the legal system5.
This essay will look at three different dimensions of legal consciousness and will argue that although law is often portrayed as a remote phenomenon, it is still ubiquitous in everyday life, however its presence varies from person to person according to his/her social background.
The essay will also examine, how media dramatizes events, simplifies legal language and misreports legal information, selecting sensational news to increase profits. It will also argue that despite media's power and influence, personal experience of the legal system also creates knowledge of the legal system increasing public awareness. ...
Law being ubiquitous in everyday life

Some legal scholars see law as an important part of everyday life, whereas others assert its presence as marginal7. For years legal scholars examined subjective experiences and public perceptions of law to understand, how society forms an' internal' feature of social relations8 and to comprehend whether it is ubiquitous in social relations. Legal consciousness measures people's awareness and attitudes towards law and the legal system. Legal consciousness examines, what people 'do' and 'say9', how they engage, avoid, or resist the law. Ewick stated, that legal consciousness is shaped by "cultural schemas that define the pattern of social life10" facilitating our behaviour towards other members of society.

The presence of law in everyday life and extend of legal consciousness varies and depend on person's race, education, background and experience of the legal system11. The individuals who encounter a greater personal experience are less likely to rely on media. The law is applicable in different ways and holds different meanings for people in a society as Ewick introduces three different forms of legal consciousness: before the law; with the law; and against the law12. 'Before the law', views law as an independent entity with fixed rules and procedures, but these procedures are removed from daily life affairs and are invoked only, when people turn for legal assistance13. The engagement 'with the law' states that law is perceived as a game, and law exists as a part of everyday life14. Under the 'against the law' framework states, that people resist the law, avoiding its presence in their daily activities and try to disobey wherever possible15.

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