When the Saints Go Marching In: Legal Consciousness and Prison Experiences of Conscientious Objectors to Military Service in Israel
THE NEW CIVIL RIGHTS RESEARCH, Laura-Beth Nielsen and Ben Fleury-Steiner, eds., Dartmouth: Ashgate, 2005
31 Pages Posted: 25 May 2005
Legal consciousness literature has, in recent years, highlighted the significance law holds for people in everyday life. This paper questions the universality of law's relevance by portraying the way in which convicted conscientious objectors to military service in Israel viewed their trial and their prison experiences. Based on in-depth, semi-structured interviews with 15 conscientious objectors, the paper shows that they elect to exit the legal framework for perceiving their trial and sentence, and opt instead to view the entire experience through extra-legal prisms: as a game, an experiment and an experience. Based on these findings, the paper offers a broadened framework for legal consciousness research.
Keywords: Comparative law, legal consciousness, penology, criminology, conscientious objection, military law, prisons
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