Collaborative Research Networks

CRN03  Ethnography, Law & Society


Emma Nyhan & Matthew Canfield

This CRN focuses on the ethnographic study of law and society. Ethnographic inquiries of law have maintained a historic and steady position within the field of anthropology, and are thus healthily represented in legal anthropology journals and organizations. They are also well-represented in the foundational years of law and society scholarship. More recently, renewed interest has arisen for revisiting the character and shape of ethnographic methods in sociolegal scholarship in light of the fact that ethnography is often understood as straddling the empirical-interpretive divide increasingly evident in the emergence of fields of like Empirical Legal Studies and Law, Culture and Humanities. In this CRN, members will reflect on the meaning of “ethnographic research” and “ethnography,” while exploring the benefits and boundaries of ethnographic research practice in the production of sociolegal knowledge; identify opportunities to conduct collaborative and/or comparative law and society research with other ethnographers and with law and society scholars who use non-ethnographic research designs; consider effective, multi-platform ways to share insights drawn from ethnographic law and society research within cross-disciplinary conversations as well as with varied public audiences; and collect research and teaching resources, respond to member queries and circulate relevant professional events and calls for participation and/or papers. The CRN also offers a platform for collaboration amongst scholars in various regions of the world in order to strengthen international scholarly networks and create new opportunities for faculty and graduate students interested in expanding the scope of their research beyond the United States and Canada.


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