By Malcolm Archibald

Nineteenth-century Dundee was once a difficult, unforgiving position. for lots of of its voters, it used to be the survival of the fittest, and to outlive they became to crime. yet what used to be it relatively like either for the criminals and the law-abiding voters to dwell within the streets and closes of Dundee at the moment? A Sink of Atrocity finds the true Dundee of the 19th century and the standard and remarkable crimes of the days. in addition to the standard family violence, fights and petty thefts, the Peter Wallace gang plagued the town whereas Resurrectionists brought on panic and alarm. there have been additionally notorious murders and an excellent number of crimes through ladies, in addition to hugely strange crimes resembling the robbery of a whale at sea. in contrast tidal wave of crime stood males like Patrick Mackay and the city's different Messengers-at-Arms, chargeable for apprehending criminals sooner than the arrival of the police. It used to be a difficult activity in a difficult urban, however the punishments have been critical because the experts fought...

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Some will find that media stories resonate with their own experiences, while others will reject the same media narratives as completely unrepresentative. An important conclusion which emerges from my discussion concerns the unpredictable nature of people’s media consumption. The relationship between law and the media is uncomfortable for many reasons, one of which undoubtedly involves the volatile interventions of the consumer-sphinx. If only this enigmatic figure were more knowable and transparent, markets could be directed to strike a perfect balance between supply and demand, pollsters would be able to call the results of elections well in advance and policy makers would be relieved of their many anxieties about the way in which the media are influencing audiences.

These questions require a clarification of what is meant by ‘law’, or, more precisely, an exploration of the various sites which law occupies. As a set of rules, derived from a body of doctrine, case law, legislation and other sources, law can be found in a wide range of locales, its reign being most visible in highly institutionalised settings such as courts, law firms, police stations and probation offices. 3 Moreover, it is clear that law is performed in a variety of social settings and not just in the context of the institutions that are most visibly associated with it.

Set in an inner-city environment, this particular project sought to address the question of what law meant to residents of the estate. Their local encounters with the law were multifarious and often confrontational, so much so that first-hand and hearsay anecdotes dominated their many stories about law. One of the (few) media resources which they appropriated in their accounts concerned the high-profile case of the racially motivated killing of the black teenager Stephen Lawrence, focusing on the failure of the police to bring his alleged white killers to justice and the subsequent public inquiry.

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