Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Donileen Loseke


cognitive sociology, culture, law, Supreme Court oral argument, violent video games


Culture plays a part in the construction of legal understandings in the Supreme Court contrary to much legal scholarship. The oral argument of the Supreme Court is a unique way for Justices to gather information beyond the formalized briefs and prior written opinions. In the oral argument the Supreme Court Justices utilize cultural codes as tools to probe, shape, negotiate and challenge the legal meanings and boundaries of the case before them. Using the oral argument transcript in a 2010 Supreme Court case on the issue of whether California has the right to censor the sale of violent video games to minors, this study attempts to understand the sociological processes behind constructing law. Findings show cultural codes being used by the Justices, in this legal context of an oral argument, to address the border disputes and help to establish the specific legal parameters of a case.

Included in

Sociology Commons