Exploring the 'Legal' in Socio-Legal Studies
Socio-legal studies have had an ambivalent relationship with the 'legal' - one of its defining aspects, but at the same time one that the discipline has sought to transcend or even leave behind. While socio-legal studies benefit hugely from the insights, methods and theories of other social science and humanity disciplines, the contributions to Exploring the 'Legal' in Socio-Legal Studies illustrate the value of a focus on the 'legal'. The chapters in this book combine traditional legal materials and analyses with other ways of engaging empirically with the 'legal'. They illustrate the rich potential of the 'legal' as a site both for theoretical and methodological reflection and for case study analysis. Taken as a whole, this volume demonstrates that methodological discussion is most helpful when rooted in empirical cases, and that the best case studies also help us to develop our methodologies. Bringing methodology and empirical analysis together offers an opportunity to reflect on socio-legal studies and develop the discipline in productive new directions.