Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment & Technology Law

First Page



This Article recognizes that television programs outside of the law genre can engage in legal discourse: to wit, South Park. South Park has been called one of the most profane programs on television, as well as one of the most ideological. Indeed, through sophisticated, no-holds-barred satire, South Park contemplates a number of American culture's most complex and contentious legal issues. This Article systematically analyzes the legal ideologies conveyed by South Park, combining an interpretive ethnographic analysis with quantitative content analyses. Ultimately, these examinations reveal that South Park communicates a libertarian ideology of law. In doing so, however, it does not so much tell us what to think, as it provides us with a framework for how we think. In this manner, South Park informs how we think through legislation, perceive the law's authority (or as Cartman would say, "authoritay'), and understand its role in our culture.