Is There a Canon of Law and Society?

Annual Review of Law & Society, Vol.9, 2013, pp.287-306

UC Irvine School of Law Research Paper No. 2013-153

21 Pages Posted: 7 Nov 2013  

Carroll Seron

University of California, Irvine School of Law; Department of Criminology, Law & Society

Susan Bibler Coutin

University of California, Irvine School of Law

Pauline White Meeusen

University of California, Irvine - Department of Criminology, Law and Society

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Date Written: November 5, 2013

Abstract

As an interdisciplinary field, law and society has an ambivalent relationship with the notion of a canon: Being a field requires having a recognized set of key texts, even as this particular field’s critique of doctrinal legal analysis creates an openness toward alternative perspectives. Within the interdisciplinary field of law and society itself, there is debate about the breadth of disciplines relevant to this domain of inquiry. To explore this tension, we analyze three sources: (a) addresses delivered by presidents of the US Law and Society Association (LSA), (b) LSA meeting calls, and (c) law and society/social science syllabi. Presidential addresses and meeting calls demonstrate how the boundaries of the field are established and contested, and course syllabi suggest a degree of consensus about key works.We conclude by discussing other national and regional research traditions and note that these critique law and society/social sciences canons for being overly United States focused or Eurocentric. We argue that such contestation underscores the health and vibrancy of law and society research.

Keywords: jurisprudence, sociolegal studies, law and society, disputing

Suggested Citation

Seron, Carroll and Coutin, Susan Bibler and White Meeusen, Pauline, Is There a Canon of Law and Society? (November 5, 2013). Annual Review of Law & Society, Vol.9, 2013, pp.287-306; UC Irvine School of Law Research Paper No. 2013-153. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2350359

Carroll Seron (Contact Author)

University of California, Irvine School of Law; Department of Criminology, Law & Society ( email )

401 E. Peltason Dr.
Ste. 1000
Irvine, CA 92697-1000
United States

Susan Bibler Coutin

University of California, Irvine School of Law ( email )

401 E. Peltason Dr.
Ste. 1000
Irvine, CA 92697-1000
United States

Pauline White Meeusen

University of California, Irvine - Department of Criminology, Law and Society

2340 Social Ecology 2, RM
Irvine, CA 92697
United States

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