Between Law and Culture: Relocating Legal Studies
Lisa C. Bower, David Theo Goldberg, Michael C. Musheno
U of Minnesota Press, 2001 - Law - 337 pages
What happens to legal thought when key terms-society, culture, power, justice, identity-become unsettled? With the boundaries defining sociolegal scholarship undergoing a profound shift, this book explores the intersections of law, culture, and identity. Sexuality, race, sports, and the politics of policing are among the topics the authors take up as they examine how law both reproduces and challenges fundamental notions of order, discipline, and identity.
Contributors: Rosemary J. Coombe, U of Toronto; David M. Engel, SUNY, Buffalo; Marjorie Garber, Harvard U; Herman Gray, UC, Santa Cruz; Rona Tamiko Halualani, San José State U; David Harvey, CUNY; Deb Henderson; Yuen J. Huo, UCLA; S. Lily Mendoza, U of Denver; Trish Oberweis, American Justice Institute; Paul A. Passavant, Hobart and William Smith Colleges; Lisa E. Sanchez, U of Illinois; Carl F. Stychin, U of Reading; Tom R. Tyler, New York U; Christine A. Yalda.
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I am tempted to write "typical pomo gibberish". I succumb to the temptation. Unlike the authors I'll try to be brief and clear. You may judge if I succeed. "At first glance, the traveling of identity through time seems naturally consistent, effortless, and without consequence." The subject is "traveling of identity". The verb is "seems". You figure out the object. Translated it means. Things look simple if you don't examine them closely. A rather mundane truism. The writing/thinking doesn't get any more efficient. This is an author [Halualani] these authors [Bower/Goldberg] praise. Haulani's next sentence is "Its movement and collisional encounters guised, identity just "is"." Presumably this is intended to be a profound observation/comment. Reduced to its essentials it says "It is." It is not her fault as this is how she was encouraged to write. But this style of thinking doesn't "kick the can down the road" and rather reminds me of a story of what happens to a person who has one leg shorter than the other who is trapped in a blizzard. They think they are walking in a straight line but the short leg takes them in a circle, then they find footprints and believe they are making progress but alas they will probably die in the storm.
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