Lecture 9 20140405
• Goals of Research
The Common Place of Law
What does hockey violence tell us about…
• The domain of hockey and its relation to the law?
o The domain of law
o How do we think of law in relation to hockey?
o When do we stop into the laws of hockey
o Laws in action vs. law in book
o What are the differences of punishment in relation to getting hit on the head?
o A lot of people suggested thaChar should have known when he was going to be hit.
o Threat of legal action
o When do we see the law step in? • What does hockey tell us about our Canadian identity?
o Peacekeeper and passive nation—so where does hockey fit?
o Canadian players are aggressive compared to Europeans
o Elements of Canadian laws
• Shifting way society reacts to violence in the sport?
o Emergence of concussions, head shots
o All those things are now
o Shifting definition in terms of head shots
o NFL is affected—players have 45 years length
o A lot of people who were affected by headshots suicide after the
• How the NHL can be better regulated/held accountable?
o Through the criminal or civil law?
o Steve more having a civil suit, but there are a lot of criminal charges.
o There are other way of chagrining people instead of using criminal law like civil law and regulatory schemes are
just as useful as criminal law
o Or through informal mechanisms
Threat of cutting sponsorship
More formalistic views
o Or by their own system?
o Implicates the law—very real issues that can hold the NHL accountable when they are sued
o Brandon Shanahan who is hired to explore these issues like head shots
o Why are concussions taken into consideration so much? But there is now more awareness of concussions now
because there is more information of it now. Legal Consciousness
• Why does the haves come out ahead?
• They use different methodologies
• Galanter uses a very systemic way:
o Thus, unreform—ambiguity and overload of rules, overloaded and inefficient institutional…
(Dualism—symbolic view of the law—the law is seeking to do something like justice, it is neutral and at
the same time it creates something and we read it in newspapers when things do not go right like when
Why is it the system is allowed to continue (Galanter conclusion is Ewick and Silbey article takes off
from his conclusion)
Ewick and Silbey are key on the narrative come from 400 interviews and fashion a typology about how
everyday people think about the law and answer why it is important that the haves come out ahead and
why are these stories come out ahead?
Galanter talks to lawyers and judges and he watches how disputes how it is resolved, how they argue
and what they argue and what the lawyers do versus one shotters and repeat players.
The Legal Consciousness Project
• Decentre law
o Look away from the law to get as its role
o Look at people who do not use the law and look at everyday people
o Court cases are very successful and use the law
o And why do people choose not to use the law?
o What law means and what legality means, people know what means?
o And when you centre the law they look at what it means?
• Understanding of law takes shape based
o How do we understand how the law takes shapes like people’s relationships How is the law conflict for some families
Why do people choose laws
o It is all based on shared customs and habits
o We understand that and somehow the law is shaped somehow by these
o Somehow the law is some transcendental thing and law is based on society, community and we cannot have
this view of the law without it
o Personal perceptions of identity—doing law is good that law school is for smart people
o Law is a top down process—Latimer what implications does law have for the disabled community? How does
law impact society and how does societal value help the law? Look at these everyday actions and see how
people think about the law and how it influences law and legality?
• Look at ordinary people not located exclusively within legal context.
• Research agenda shifts to ways people respond to law,
o By ignoring the law
It is way of responding to law, a way of responding to the law
o Reconstructing the law
Through shared aspects with people—police officers, institutional actors, civil law
Sarat says it is a very mushy concept, they really open up a different concept
Legal Consciousness: definitions
• Legal consciousness “formed within and by social action” (Cooper 1995_510)
• Think about law silences rather than just the absence of the law
• Therefore law’s role in everyday life derived from the ways that people experience its presence (and/or its absence)
• “Participation—through words and deed—in the construction of legal meanings, actions, practices and institutions”
(Ewick and Silbey, The Common Place of the Law 1998: 247)
• Everything is all good, we find out what the law does and how legal consciousness exists o But the key part of their work is that there is critical part, not really a narrative or series of peoples stories
o There are two things that Ewick and Silbey write about goals
Legal Consciousness: Goals
• How does the law sustain its institutional power despite its persistent gap between the law on the books and law in
• Why do people acquiesce to a legal system that, despite its promises of equal treatment, systemically reproduces
o Silbey, After Legal Consciousness 2005
o Why do we still believe in the system?
o Why do we allow police officers do the work they do—when we know that they are going to kill someone or
there are injustices?
o Why do we allow that to happen? Ewick and Silbey start with this
o We can talk about the law trying to achieve justice yet we know this isn’t the case
o And we know the haves generally come out ahead—why are we okay with this system?
Part of this is in relation to Marxism
Why do we react to this?
Shift in Law and Society (1980s)
1. Abandoned the Law First Paradigm
o Absences and silences
o Its also where we expect to see the law and where we don’t
o Why is it not there
o The shift to the nonprofessional actor o Not the police officer, not the domain
o Abandonment of everyday behaviour
o Frustration of the behaviour
o The article not measuring anything and related to some conscious shift
1. Abandoned focus on measurable behaviour
o Ethnography and see how people go through it and look at it through that perspective
o Not a set of surveys and see how it unfolds and how it is talked about
2. Part of the shift from the “native” categories from legal actors (the object of study) to newer concepts
o Taking the subjects definition at face value
o We see this changing and se