Legal Consciousness II
Law vs Society. Law is separate from society. With or against us. Competing with each other.
Life vs Law. Between everyday existence and law. This type of thinking is dichotomies thinking.
Encourages us to categorize the world based on the competing objects. Legitimise only one. Include or
exclude. Life and everydays existence con operate to contradistinction outside of law. Exist without law.
-however we want to see how everyday life constitute law. Helps us to avoid black and white thinking.
Think about identity in an other way.
-trapped inside in law can be just as non-liberating as being outside of law.
-start thinking that we are inside and outside at once.
-fight the inclination when we see somebody is bad situation/about them being a screw up. They may
not be lacking an agency. We want to see the way that they are acting/forced to conform.
-“law promises us choice” as the same time it gives us choice it constrains and limits our choice, some
people have more and some people have less depending on who they are.
The official version of law, wants to think about people as abstract person. To consider everybody equal.
When people are removed from their context and separated from their life, scary. The shadow is empty
and avoid, we place our own ideas/we can assume/prejudice/bias and stereotypes. It also creates a
notion that people can be frozen in time and space. The shadow is based on very general ideas about
who they are. They ideas that we attach to them, start to be very true and unquestionable. Borrows said
that Canadians had such ideas about Aboriginals/lawless/uncivilized people.
Gay penguin: Zoo keepers, national post, Nov.7/2011, putting human characteristics on animals.
Relating penguins to Borrows. Putting penguin to larger society to assimilate. Just because it is
something different, not necessary wrong. My way is better than yours. Zoo keeper has the authority to
-Indian Act is coercive legislation, backed by the power of jail and RCMP.
-“we are doing for the penguins better good”.
judging and judgement-we are all legal actors. Even if the smallest guy like the penguin has the ability to
realize what is going on around them, and ability to give sometimes the a zookeeper a flipper. We are all little judges. Judging their situation. Why don’t we want to spend our time listening to little buddies,
that differ from our experiences. When we are faced with the “other”, we have a tendency to view
others with compassion.
compassion - “sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it.”
-“desire to alleviate their distress” –sometimes our compassion act turns into mercy.
mercy - “compassion or forbearance shown especially to an offender or to one subject to one’s own
power” - “lenient or compassionate treatment”
-paternalistic treatment-assuming that person has absolutely no agency and has no consciousness how
to fight back. When we view penguins as compassion, but we should not act like we know better.
-relationship of power-over someone else. Hierarchy.
-We can see the truth in a way that they can’t. We tell them how to live. That they are not good or
virtuite people, because they are not following the rules and regulations.
-when you are at somebody’s mercy because you are under power. View the world in a black and white
way. Blindness for difference. Thinking how instead they can submit to power sometimes, but resist
sometimes, thinking of them as people with agency, who think about law and challenges it and
sometimes want to sit back.
-we don’t have to be defined by law. Can make equally valuable evaluation by ourselves. I’m in the bet
position about my life because I’m living it. Law shuts us down, takes us a shadow and plugs its own
ideas. We want to put our own experiences.
-totalizing identity-> criminal, aboriginal.
Sarat, “... The Law is All Over” –people that law is wat