Publication Details

M. Leiboff, ''DITTO': law, pop culture and humanities and the impact of intergenerational interpretative dissonance' (2012) 36 (N/A) The Australian Feminist Law Journal 145-163.


Building on Julius Stone's remark that jurisprudence is law's extroversion (or extraversion), this essay explores the consequences that flow from the loss of a shared humanities discourse by lawyers. In adapting the concept of extraversion to those things about us in the world, the essay considers the finding of an empirical study, Law's Gens Project, which revealed a profound, almost seismic shift in what different generational groupings of lawyers know, based in the humanities, placing this point of rupture squarely in the 1970s. Drawing on allusions and cultural references used in judgments, this project reveals how these cultural markers affect legal interpretation. Generational slippages arise when shared humanities discourses are lost. It is thus necessary to think about what happens when the texts of law can no longer be read when the arsenal needed to read them canonically disappears-that is, when it is no longer possible to read the texts as they were intended, not because of any change in legal knowledge in its barest sense, but when the humanities discourses needed to decode their meanings are lost.

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