2021F-01:ANTHROPOLOGY OF LAW
Anthropology of law is a four-credit advanced History and Society course that explores cross-cultural variation within and among legal institutions. Through the medium of ethnography, as well as original primary-source research into court proceedings and legal disputes, we consider how law becomes a mechanism for the maintenance of social order at the same time that it can contribute to social inequity. We will address central questions in the anthropology of law: How does our cultural background influence how we conceptualize justice? What are the consequences of finding oneself between competing legal systems? Our focus will be to examine critically the social and cultural dynamics behind dispute resolution, corporate law, crime, torts, religious law, and international courts, as well as dilemmas around policing and other ways people encounter “the law” in everyday life. Case studies from diverse legal environments in both industrialized and small-scale societies will help place Western law traditions in a comparative, global perspective.