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Working politically: combining socio-legal tools to study experiences of law

Mant, Jessica 2020. Working politically: combining socio-legal tools to study experiences of law. German Law Journal 21 (7) , pp. 1464-1480. 10.1017/glj.2020.78

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Abstract

This Article provides a novel insight into how earlycareer scholars in the UK may combine different theoretical tools in their research, and the implications that this may have for the socio-legal discipline. This Article draws upon the author’s experience of combining theoretical tools from different schools of thought: Feminist legal theory, Bourdieusian theory, and Actor Network Theory, within the context of recent research into experiences of those representing themselves in family court hearings in England and Wales. Combining these theories for the first time, this Article explores the difficulties, tensions, and benefits of combining tools within socio-legal research and reflects upon the influence of the pedagogical and institutional resources that characterize the socio-legal research environment in the UK. This Article argues that the task of combining different tools provides scholars with the opportunity to work politically, because the process of reconciling tensions between different approaches requires researchers to reflect upon the worldviews that underpin their selected theories. In this sense, it argues that combining different theories within socio-legal research is a political activity, because researchers are required to reflect not only on how theoretical choices may contest, expand, or develop dominant assumptions that characterize socio-legal scholarly traditions.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Law
Additional Information: This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press (CUP)
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 June 2020
Date of Acceptance: 8 June 2020
Last Modified: 09 Feb 2021 14:16
URI: http://orca.cardiff.ac.uk/id/eprint/132886

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