This paper develops a methodological framework to understand criminal laws as cultural artefacts—as manifestations of structures, processes and struggles which are part of the broader social (re)production of meanings, values and affects. The first section sets out the groundwork for a cultural examination of criminal law, deploying insights from cultural theory to understand criminal law's function in securing civil order. The paper then maps and critically analyses the cultural structure of the law of joint enterprise, which it argues is conditioned by a danger formation centred on the racialised and hostile construction of the image of the urban gang. The third section investigates the implications of this danger formation to the possibility of legal change through a cultural reading of the UK Supreme Court decision in R v Jogee. The paper concludes by reflecting on the value of a cultural understanding of criminal law.