This workshop is in two parts (10/11/2014 and 15/12/2014), please only book on this session if you can attend both sessions.
The aim of this workshop – which will run in two sessions – is to explore the value of using in-depth interviewing in legal and socio-legal studies. In so doing, it will help participants to appreciate when using qualitative research methods is an appropriate research strategy and what advantages it offers with respect to a pure normative/procedural approach.
In a famous article published in 1998, Reza Banakar denounced the ‘identity crises’ of sociology of law. ‘Stepchild’ to the two well-established parent disciplines of law and sociology, sociology of law was said to lack rigor and be – in certain crucial aspects – theoretically incoherent (Banakar, 1998).
Is it really so? Or is it, rather, that sociology of law can instead offer the theoretical and methodological instruments to overcome the limits of pure legal and sociological theories, thereby giving us a fuller and richer portrait of both legal phenomena and social reality?
The workshop will run in two sessions, of one hour and a half each. The two sessions are compulsory to attend, the first serving as a preliminary and propaedeutic introduction to the second.
During the first session, I will provide an introduction to theory and method in socio-legal research. Specifically, I will focus on the following thematic areas:
• Introduction to sociology of law
1. classical sociology of law
2. critical approaches to sociology of law
3. law in a global society
• Law ‘in action’
1.strengths of using qualitative research methods in legal studies
2. in-depth interviewing in socio-legal studies
3. overview of questioning techniques
4. methods for data analysis
5. ethics in socio-legal studies
At the end of this session, participants will be asked to think about and develop a case study which will be the core theme of discussion of the second, practical session.
During this session, participants will be asked to reflect on issues such as:
• When are sociological methods the best way to investigate legal and legal procedure phenomena?
• How do legal regulation and social context relate?
• Are there any branches of legal studies where a pure normative/procedural approach would be more appropriate than a socio-legal one and vice versa? (this last consideration stems from the acknowledgement that qualitative research methods have been extensively used in certain branches of legal studies – such as criminology – but they struggle to gain popularity in others).
Booking required through the training catalogue https://app.manchester.ac.uk/SALCS8915