International Journal for the Semiotics of Law

, Volume 16, Issue 4, pp 395–405 | Cite as

The Semiotics of Civil Rights in Consumer Society: Race, Law, and Food

  • Mark S. Weiner


Cooking and constitutionalism. Food and racial equity. I intend the juxtaposition to be jarring, even humorous. I would like to view it as a subtle indication of a historical trend in which central aspects of legal memory have been repressed from contemporary civic practice and important intellectual questions, concerning semiotics in consumer society, have been neglected in mainstream legal scholarship. As I will explain, the story of Ollie's barbecue suggests not only that cooking and constitutionalism are intricately linked, but also that the expansion of postwar economic life formed a material basis for this hidden bond. Considering the history of Ollie's thus can both illuminate the deep historical meaning of the Civil Rights Act, and also point the way toward a more general field of research, the development of what might be called a legal semiotics of consumption.


Material Basis General Field Economic Life Central Aspect Historical Trend 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark S. Weiner
    • 1
  1. 1.Rutgers School of LawCenter for Law and JusticeNewarkUSA

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