PRACTICING Ethnography in Law

Practicing Ethnography in Law brings together a selection of top scholars in legal anthropology, social sciences, and law to delineate the state of the art in ethnographic research strategies. Each of these original essays addresses a particular set of analytical problems and uses these problems to explore issues of ethnographic technique, research methodology, and the theoretical underpinnings of ethnographic legal studies. Subjects explored include the relationship between legal and feminist scholarship, between law and the media, law and globalization, and the usefulness of a wide variety of research techniques: comparative, linguistic, life-history, interview, archival. This volume will serve as a guide for students who are designing their own research projects, for scholars who are newly exploring the possibilities of ethnographic research, and for experienced ethnographers who are engaged with methodological issues in light of current theoretical developments. The book will be essential reading for courses in anthropological methods, legal anthropology, and sociology and law.

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“This cutting-edge collection of essays on legal ethnography is a fitting tribute to the memory of June Starr, as it does justice to her strongly-held concern about maintaining high methodological standards in legal anthropology. The essays are marked by a searching honesty, which doesn’t shrink from acknowledging the dilemmas and compromises necessary to performing good ethnography in unsettling times and circumstances. With feet firmly planted in the time-honored requirements of in-depth ethnographic work, which are not always met by some professing to perform ethnography, these authors nonetheless also deal boldly with the variations, flexibility, and new ethical binds raised by a vigorous engagement with fieldwork and ethnography in today’s world.”

Elizabeth Mertz, University of Wisconsin Law School