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Lecture 7

LAWS 2908 Lecture 7: LAWS 2908D videos week 7

Course Code
LAWS 2908
Zeina Bou- Zeid

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Videos week 7
Video 1: Starting Research in Legal Studies 3- Dawson Article
Goes beyond what the law (or rule) is
Includes a number of different sites of inquiry
Includes a number of different approaches or methods
From a doctrinal approach, you’re focused on the legal response, and the effect of the
From a legal studies approach, we examine why a legal mechanism is put in place or
1. What’s the effect, what are some side-effects, what is the change in social
behavior, etc.
Principles of reach
2. Must be animated by a research question
3. Research is an integrated process that requires development of strategies and
approaches to the materials- not just ‘finding skills’
4. Research requires critical analysis (within an interpretative framework, related
back to the research question)
Video 2- Starting Research in Legal Studies 4: Thinking about Theory
Theory provides a starting point or stand point for your analysis of an issue
What are you basic assumptions when analyzing the impact or legitimacy of a particular
issue (theory in general)
Facilitates critical analysis
Once we can identify theories, in our work and others we can identify their assumptions
i) Provides a framework for organizing info, evidence, and arguments
Video 3- Starting Research in Legal Studies 5: Developing a Research Question
Start from your own interests. When being assigned a question, look for any kind of
ii) What about my personal experiences impact my analysis- need to be open to the fact
that you may have preferences
iii) As you start, you need to narrow your focus, so as to be specific rather than general
iv) ‘surveying the filed’- research what others have written about on your topic, so you
can situate your research question and look for gaps
v) Identify a theory and know the assumptions along with it
vi) Identify interesting, broad questions about different aspects of the topic (ie societal
effect- behavior, attitude changes, etc.)
Video 4evaluating your research - Starting Research in Legal Studies 6: Evaluating a Research
Question, Thesis, and Sources
Evaluating your research question
i) Does it involve a legal studies approach
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