Ethnographic Legal Studies. Reconnecting Anthropological and Sociological Traditions
Bens, Jonas; Vetters, Larissa – 2018
Legal anthropology and legal sociology have much in common. Traditionally, however, these approaches have tried to maintain disciplinary boundaries toward each other. Latest since the 1990s, these boundaries have become more and more porous and the academic practices of boundary-making do seem to convince practitioners of these fields less and less. The recent emergence of a subfield of the anthropology of the state situated at the interface of legal anthropology, legal sociology, ethnographic studies of bureaucracies and organizational sociology attests to this development. In this introduction, we propose to consciously transgress the traditional boundaries between legal anthropology, legal sociology and the anthropology of the state when it comes to the ethnographic investigation of official law. Based on the contributions to this special issue-consisting of empirical articles and commentaries-we map several avenues for boundary transgressions and the theoretical reconceptualizations.