Everyday understandings of the law in working‐class America

Sally Merry

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    An ethnographic examination of the way working‐class Americans who use courts to manage their family and neighborhood disputes think about and use the law suggests that they share beliefs in legal rights and the legal ordering of society characteristic of American society in general. However, when they encounter the courts they develop a more complex understanding that incorporates the plural legal ideologies found within the courthouse. The process of constructing local as well as dominant ideologies has implications for understanding the role of ideology in the maintenance of social order and for analyzing the hegemonic function of law. [legal anthropology, ideology, dispute processing, social control, theory of the state] 1986 American Anthropological Association

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)253-270
    Number of pages18
    JournalAmerican Ethnologist
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - May 1986

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Anthropology


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