The question of how law matters has long been fundamental to the law and society field. Social science scholarship has repeatedly demonstrated that law matters less, or differently, than those who study only legal doctrine would have us believe. Yet research in this field depends on a belief in the relevance of law, no matter how often gaps are identified.
These essays show how law is relevant in both an "instrumental" and a "constitutive" sense, as a tool to accomplish particular purposes and as an important force in shaping the everyday worlds in which we live. Essays examine these issues by focusing on legal consciousness, the body, discrimination, and colonialism as well as on more traditional legal concerns such as juries and criminal justice.
Studying How Law Matters: An Introduction Bryant G. Garth and Austin Sarat
How Law Matters in Disputing and Dispute Processing (Or, the Contingency of Legal Matter in Informal Dispute Processes) Lauren B. Edelman and Mia Cahill
The Legal Response to Discrimination: Does Law Matter? John. J. Donohue
How Does Law Matter for Social Movements? Michael W. McCann
How Does Law MAtter in the Constitution of Legal Consciousness? David M. Engel
Body Images: How Does the Body matter in the Legal Imagination? Kristin Bumiller
Law, Social Contract Theory, and the Construction of Colonial Hierarchies Jane F. Collier
The Jury: How Does Law Matter? Shari Seidman Diamond and Jason Schklar
A Resource Theory of the Criminal Law: Exploring When It Matters Richard Lempert
Notes on Contributors
BRYANT G. GARTH is director of the American Bar Foundation.
AUSTIN SARAT is the Oliver Wendell Holmes Professor of Law and Jurisprudence at Amherst College.
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