Law and Community in Three American Towns

ISBN-10: 0801481694

ISBN-13: 9780801481697

Edition: 1994

List price: $29.95
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Description: Many commentators on the contemporary United States believe that current rates of litigation are a sign of decay in the nation's social fabric. Law and Community in Three American Towns explores how ordinary people in three towns-located in New England, the Midwest, and the South-view the law, courts, litigants, and social order.Carol J. Greenhouse, Barbara Yngvesson, and David M. Engel analyze attitudes toward law and law users as a way of commentating on major American myths and ongoing changes in American society. They show that residents of "Riverside," "Sander County," and "Hopewell" interpret litigation as a sign of social decline, but they also value law as a symbol of their local way of life. The book focuses on this ambivalence and relates it to the deeply-felt tensions express between "community" and "rights" as rival bases of society.The authors, two anthropologists and a lawyer, each with an understanding of a particular region, were surprised to discover that such different locales produced parallel findings. They undertook a comparative project to find out why ambivalence toward the law and law use should be such a common refrain. The answer, they believe, turns out to be less a matter of local traditions than of the ways that people perceive the patterns of their lives as being vulnerable to external forces of change.

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Book details

List price: $29.95
Copyright year: 1994
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Publication date: 5/26/1994
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 240
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.836
Language: English

Anthony Dunne is Professor and Head of the Design Interactions Programme at the Royal College of Art. He is the author of Hertzian Tales: Electronic Products, Aesthetic Experience, and Critical Design (MIT Press).

Acknowledgments
Introduction: Ethnographic Issues
Ethnographic Studies
The Oven Bird's Song: Insiders, Outsiders, and Personal Injuries in an American Community
Making Law at the Doorway: The Clerk, the Court, and the Construction of Community in a New England Town
Courting Difference: Issues of Interpretation and Comparison in the Study of Legal Ideologies
Law, Values, and the Discourse of Community
Avoidance and Involvement
Connection and Separation
History and Place
Conclusion: The Paradox of Community
Notes
References
Index
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