Chapter 3: Literacies across the disciplines
3.7.2 The discourse of law (prospectus)
English 102, November 2020
For my prospectus essay I wanted to look at the topic of law literacy through the lens of discourses and language used. I am going to use a few sources and I want to divide the essay and its paragraphs based on the sources. So, I am going to write one essay about each source and what the author is saying and the implications of what they are saying on the overall topic and how they relate to other sources used in the paper. I want to highlight how these authors have different and similar ideas about how law literacy is used within the field. These similarities and differences can show a lot about the differences between the different ideas on the same topic. I want to use the first source, the four discourse of law and Arthur Jacobson’s legal premium as an anchor for my paper with most, if not all of the sources connecting back to that source. I want to show that there is not one set way in which to study the discourse of law.
Maybe go into Gee article and explore some ideas that could relate to the overall narrative of the law discourse. I like the idea of power in that comes with the discourses and the acquisition of discourses. I also might want to go into the international aspect of Gee’s article and see how that may connect.
Or I can give an overview of the law discourse and maybe show its uses before I go into the academic stuff.
The first source I want to use is The four discourses of law and Arthur Jacobson’s legal premium by Jeanne L Schroder. This author says that under the overall discourse of law there are three main sub discourses. These sub discourses are university discourse, analysts’ discourse, and hysterics discourse. University discourse is academic language used in law. Some examples of this discourse are academic journals and language used to teach law. Analysts discourse is when one is analyzing case law. This is mainly used by lawyers when preparing for a case. Hysterics discourse is looking at the overall discourse in a social setting and how it is used casually, not in a professional setting . I want to walk through the basics of the four different discourses they describe and how they work together in the field of law. I also was to highlight in all of my sources the difference between basic ideologies of law literacy. This is because in the most basic sense some people seem to disagree on how the discourse of law works. Some believe that the discourse is not a whole discourse and that you can only study the discourse of law based on the actual practice of law that is being used at that time. However, some believe that all of these practices are so interconnected and fluid that the discourse of law can only be studied as a whole discourse, not through the lens of each sub discourse. I want to connect this to my overall greater point which is that there is not one set way in which to study the discourse of law. I want to show through the paper how these different sources clash with each other and are all still valid analysis’ of the discourse of law.
The next source I want to use is ‘Global Value Chain’ a Legal Concept?: Situating Contract Law in Discourses Around Global Production. The author argues that in a global production community there are many different discourses that fuse to create global production. So, as a result there is a global discourse shared all over the world that is forming because of global production, this relationship works causally, meaning that they both affect each other and cause each other to happen. They also say that a big aspect of this discourse is contract law. So the contract law discourse is what is being influenced most right now. I want to go more in depth on the interdependency of the sub discourses and how they are not only influenced by other discourses and law literature, but they are also influenced by the world. I want to highlight how these are practical and used in everyday life. This is more a study of a specific sub discourse than of the topic rather than a study over the overall discourse like the first source however these two topics can still be compared. This agrees with the previous source because they also believe that the discourse is fluid and everchanging. I want to discuss this and a few more similarities and differences.
The next source I want to use relates to the previous one and shows how global and practical the discourse of law really is. the next source I want to use is power of discourse in free trade agreement negotiation. This author discusses the overall theory of discourses. he says that with certain discourses comes powers. he says that this helps greatly in free trade agreement negotiation. this is because discourses will give you power and leverage in these negotiations. I might also want to bring in Gee and his work because it can bring in another supportive voice in this because he talks about how power comes with different discourses and how that can be used day to day.
The next source I want to go into is “Discourse Analysis of Legal Discourse with Reference to Dickens, Cozzens, Kafka, Lee, and Melville”. This source talks about the discourse of law internationally and shows how these laws internationally are similar and different. They go into how many discourses in different countries and cultures have similar nomenclature. This is because of the nature of laws that they are meant to control people, this is not necessarily a bad thing though. But I want to connect that with the power that is talked about with discourses of the previous source and gee’s article. I want to show that overall, throughout the various sources that the discourse of law does have power. This power is ingrained within the discourse and is a universal part of the discourse. I also want to talk that not only do they have the same purpose and power with it but it also comes the same language, so I want to talk about how some of those words themselves carry connotations with them across languages and this is probably due to the connection with the discourse of law and that is what gives it that connotation. I want to explore that and a few more ideas of how this connects with the other sources.
The overall larger point that I want to get at in this paper is that the discourse of law internationally is not uniform, because the culture plays into the discourse of law so much, but they have the same building blocks. The discourse has the same purpose, power, and language usage internationally. I also want to highlight that most sources identify that discourse is fluid and changes with culture. It is as if the discourse carries the skeleton of how the discourse works, and different nationalities use that skeleton to create their own legal system based on their own specific cultures and values.
The four discourses of law and Arthur Jacobson’s legal premium by Jeanne L Schroder https://heinonline.org/HOL/LandingPage?handle=hein.journals/cdozo40&div=88&id=&page=
This author says that under the overall discourse of law there are four main sub discourses. These sub discourses are university discourse, analysts’ discourse, hysterics discourse, sexuation and non-correlation. University discourse is academic language used in law. Some examples of this discourse are academic journals and language used to teach law. Analysts discourse is when one is analyzing case law. This is mainly used by lawyers when preparing for a case.
Is ‘Global Value Chain’ a Legal Concept?: Situating Contract Law in Discourses Around Global Production. https://www.degruyter.com/view/journals/ercl/16/1/article-p3.xml
The author argues that in a global production community there are many different discourses that come together for global production. So, as a result there is a global discourse shared all over the world that is forming because of global production. They also say that a big aspect of this discourse is contract law. So the contract law discourse is what is being influenced most right now because of the evolution of the discourse.
Gender discourses in academic mobility. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/gwao.12413
This author discusses gender and the implications that discourses of law has on gender. They say that heteronormative language is hindering the academic betterment of women because the heteronormative language limits the ability for women to study in foreign countries, especially so in the southern hemisphere. (go more in depth on that). They also say that the lack of discourses is leading to issues within the workplace because of the power that it carries with it (more on that later)
Power of discourse in free trade agreement negotiation.
This author discusses the overall theory of discourses. He says that with certain discourses comes powers. He says that this helps greatly in free trade agreement negotiation. This is because discourses will give you power and leverage in these negotiations. This relates to Gee’s idea behind how discourses carry power with them. If one can hone a discourse, then they can bring power into situations like contract negotiations and other situations where one needs leverage.
Discourse theory of law in times of populism.
This author discusses how discourse theory came about in law. It also discusses how it helps and understanding of law both domestically and internationally. It also talks about how populism is challenging the discourse theory of law. It says that discourse theory establishes them as “the elite” because they can use this language. But, in times of populism the elite are not looked upon favorably, so the discourse of law is challenged.
LANGUAGE AND THE LAW John Gibbons http://www.uefap.com/prepare/research/langlaw.htm
The author begins by breaking the discourse down into three ways of communication, written, spoken, and gestures. He says that there are at least three levels to each of these sub discourses. Three more areas that are focuses of study in the discourse of law are speech act analysis, discourse interaction, and critical discourse analysis. This is to say that the way that one speaks, how discourses interact, and what the discourse means are things that need to be studied more when looking at the discourse of law.
Meaning and Power in the Language of Law
The author starts by saying that there are inherent challenges in interpretating law because of all of the different discourses that are present when talking about the discourse of law. They then talk about how the current law discourse that we use today is affected by the hundreds of years of law discourse that came before it. They then talk about how one can only look to the past in law discourse because only laws can affect laws, so in order to change the discourse one must look back on the past in order to make change.
Discourse Analysis in the Legal Context
The author says that defamation and voice alteration is a very new and important concept in the discourse of law. This is due to the new age of media; some examples are voice splicing and manipulation as well as photoshop. This also connects to defamation because of social media and the recent developments there. He goes on to say that recordings are an important arising issue because everyone has a tape recorder/ camera in their back pocket because of the accessibility. The biggest issue is identifying voices in recordings, which is causing new laws to be made. This creates an entirely new discourse within the discourse of law.
Discourse Analysis of Legal Discourse with Reference to Dickens, Cozzens, Kafka, Lee, and Melville
This author discusses the idea of law discourse internationally. They say that overall, most of the language used in law discourse is similar across multiple countries and languages. They hypothesize that this is because the laws at the end of the day have the same goal, to control justice or injustice. This is the case for all laws, so across all of the different discourse are similar in language across different languages and cultures. This was the case before a global community was established.
“The Relevance of Discourse Analysis to Legal Practice”
The author says that language, as a part of law is a sign of the times. They say that language is a phenomenon of culture and language is a reflection of the times. So, when language changes so do the times and so do the laws. The author says that law discourse is fluid over time, much like many authors. They also say that as laws change so does language forever, so there is no going back in terms of language of the law.
Ideologies of Language: Some Reflections on Language and U.S. Law
This author discusses how people view the language of law. They say that because of laws, in their inherent nature restrict us, the language used in law is also viewed as restrictive. So, language used in law has a negative This shows the relations between laws and people. People do not only affect the laws, but laws affect people. This is a never-ending cycle as the people’s awareness of laws changes laws.