Institutional Ethnography as a Method of Inquiry for Criminal Justice and Socio-Legal Studies

IJCJ&SD 2019 8(1): 147-160

14 Pages Posted: 1 Jul 2019

See all articles by Agnieszka Doll

Agnieszka Doll

McGill University - Faculty of Law

Kevin Walby

University of Winnipeg

Date Written: June 30, 2019

Abstract

Institutional ethnography (IE) is a method of inquiry created by Canadian feminist sociologist Dorothy E. Smith to examine how sequences of texts coordinate forms of organisation. Here we explain how to use IE, and why scholars in criminal justice and socio-legal studies should use it in their research. We focus on IE’s analysis of texts and intertextual hierarchy, as well as Smith’s understanding of mapping as a methodological technique; the latter entails explaining how IE’s approach to mapping differs from other social science approaches. We also argue that IE’s terms and techniques can help examine the textual work undertaken in criminal justice and legal organisations, and reveal how people are governed and ruled by these organisational processes. In the discussion, we summarise how IE can productively contribute to criminal justice and socio-legal studies in the twenty-first century.

Suggested Citation

Doll, Agnieszka and Walby, Kevin, Institutional Ethnography as a Method of Inquiry for Criminal Justice and Socio-Legal Studies (June 30, 2019). IJCJ&SD 2019 8(1): 147-160. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3412248 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3412248

Agnieszka Doll (Contact Author)

McGill University - Faculty of Law ( email )

3644 Peel Street
Montreal H3A 1W9, Quebec
Canada

Kevin Walby

University of Winnipeg ( email )

Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 2E9
United States

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