Cloth $67.00 ISBN: 9780226227429 Published July 1998
Paper $25.00 ISBN: 9780226227443 Published July 1998

The Common Place of Law

Stories from Everyday Life

Patricia Ewick and Susan S. Silbey

The Common Place of Law
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Patricia Ewick and Susan S. Silbey

336 pages | 2 line drawings, 5 tables | 6 x 9 | © 1998
Cloth $67.00 ISBN: 9780226227429 Published July 1998
Paper $25.00 ISBN: 9780226227443 Published July 1998
Why do some people not hesitate to call the police to quiet a barking dog in the middle of the night, while others accept the pain and losses associated with defective products, unsuccesful surgery, and discrimination? Patricia Ewick and Susan Silbey collected accounts of the law from more than four hundred people of diverse backgrounds in order to explore the different ways that people use and experience it. Their fascinating and original study identifies three common narratives of law that are captured in the stories people tell.

One narrative is based on an idea of the law as magisterial and remote. Another views the law as a game with rules that can be manipulated to one's advantage. A third narrative describes the law as an arbitrary power that is actively resisted. Drawing on these extensive case studies, Ewick and Silbey present individual experiences interwoven with an analysis that charts a coherent and compelling theory of legality. A groundbreaking study of law and narrative, The Common Place of Law depicts the institution as it is lived: strange and familiar, imperfect and ordinary, and at the center of daily life.

American Sociological Association: ASA Sociology of Law Section Award
Honorable Mention
awarded "Special Recognition"

View Recent Awards page for more award winning books.
Pt. 1: Introduction
1: Millie Simpson
2: The Common Place of Law
3: The Social Construction of Legality
Pt. 2: Stories of Legal Consciousness: Constructing Legality
4: Before the Law
Rita Michaels
Dwayne Franklin
Standing before the Law
5: With the Law
Charles Reed
Nikos Stavros
Playing with the Law
6: Against the Law
Bess Sherman
Jamie Leeson
Up against the Law
Pt. 3: Conclusions
7: Mystery and Resolution: Reconciling the Irreconcilable
8: Consciousness and Contradiction
App. A: Research Strategies and Methods
App. B: Who's Who in the Text
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