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Univ. of San Diego School of Law

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Friday, August 19, 2011

Leong on Traffic Stops

Leong nancy Nancy Leong (University of Denver Sturm College of Law) has posted The Open Road and the Traffic Stop: Narratives and Counter-Narratives of the American Dream on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

American culture is steeped in the mythology of the open road. In our collective imagination, the road represents freedom, escape, friendship, romance, and above all, the possibility for a better life. But our shared dream of the open road comes to a halt in the mundane reality of the traffic stop - a judicially-authorized policing procedure in which an officer may pull over a vehicle if she has cause to believe the driver has committed even the most minor traffic violation. This paper examines the cultural texts - books, movies, songs - celebrating the open road and juxtaposes them against those documenting the traffic stop. The traffic stop, I conclude, interrupts the open road narrative closely associated with the American dream. Those stopped most frequently - in particular, racial minorities - are consequently denied full participation in an abiding national fantasy.

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/crimprof_blog/2011/08/leong-on-traffic-stops.html

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