Drawing on a range of approaches from the social sciences and humanities, this handbook explores theoretical and empirical perspectives that address the articulation of law in society, and the social character of the rule of law.

The vast field of socio-legal studies provides multiple lenses through which law can be considered. Rather than seeking to define the field of socio-legal studies, this book takes up the experiences of researchers within the field. First-hand accounts of socio-legal research projects allow the reader to engage with diverse theoretical and methodological approaches within this fluid interdisciplinary area. The book provides a rich resource for those interested in deepening their understanding of the variety of theories and methods available when law is studied in its broadest social context, as well as setting those within the history of the socio-legal movement. The chapters consider multiple disciplinary lenses – including feminism, anthropology and sociology – as well as a variety of methodologies, including: narrative, visual and spatial, psychological, economic and epidemiological approaches. Moreover, these are applied in a range of substantive contexts such as online hate speech, environmental law, biotechnology, research in post-conflict situations, race and LGBT+ lawyers.

The handbook brings together younger contributors and some of the best-known names in the socio-legal field. It offers a fresh perspective on the past, present and future of sociolegal studies that will appeal to students and scholars with relevant interests in a range of subjects, including law, sociology and politics.

part I|2 pages

Approaching socio-legal studies

chapter 1|6 pages

Socio-legal theory and methods

ByNaomi Creutzfeldt, Marc Mason, Kirsten McConnachie

chapter 2|26 pages

Traditions of studying the social and the legal

A short introduction to the institutional and intellectual development of socio-legal studies
ByNaomi Creutzfeldt

chapter 3|23 pages

Uses and abuses of socio-legal studies

ByCarrie Menkel-Meadow

chapter 5|13 pages

Writing beyond distinctions *

ByAndreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos

chapter 6|14 pages

Doing critical-socio-legal theory

ByMargaret Davies

chapter 7|13 pages

‘Indefensible and irresponsible’

Interdisciplinarity, truth and #reviewer2
ByEmilie Cloatre, Dave Cowan

chapter 8|13 pages

Ethical awareness and socio-legal research in the UK

ByVictoria Brooks

chapter 9|13 pages

On objectivity and staying ‘native’

Researching LGBTQI+ lawyers as a queer lawyer
ByMarc Mason

chapter 10|11 pages

The politics of research impact

A Scottish case study
ByKath Murray

part II|2 pages

Disciplinary and theoretical relationships

chapter 11|13 pages

Law and sociology

BySharyn Roach Anleu, Kathy Mack

chapter 12|17 pages

Law and social psychology methods

ByRebecca Hollander-Blumoff

chapter 13|14 pages

Socio-legal studies and economics

ByRichard Craven

chapter 14|13 pages

Law and anthropology

ByKirsten McConnachie

chapter 15|14 pages

Doing ‘law in/and development’

Theoretical, methodological and ethical reflections
ByJennifer Lander

chapter 17|12 pages

Reading law spatially

ByAntonia Layard

chapter 18|16 pages

Legal concepts in flux

The social construction of legal meaning
ByMaayan Ravid, Alice Schneider

chapter 19|13 pages

Feminist approaches to socio-legal studies

ByRosemary Hunter

chapter 20|14 pages

Intersectionality as theory and method

Human rights adjudication by the European Court of Human Rights
ByCharlotte Helen Skeet

part III|2 pages

Methodological choices

chapter 21|12 pages

Encountering the archive

Researching race, racialisation and the death penalty in England and Wales, 1900–65
ByLizzie Seal, Alexa Neale

chapter 22|14 pages

Law, the environment and narrative storytelling

ByAngus Nurse

chapter 23|14 pages

Legal aesthetics as visual method

ByThomas Giddens

chapter 24|13 pages

A content analysis of judicial decision-making

ByRichard Kirkham, Elizabeth A. O’Loughlin

chapter 25|13 pages

Intellectual property, biotechnology and process tracing

Applying political research methods to legal study
ByBenjamin Farrand

chapter 26|14 pages

Experiments in criminal justice contexts

ByJulia Yesberg, Ben Bradford

chapter 27|16 pages

Legal epidemiology, evidence-informed law and administrative data

New frontiers in the study of family justice
ByMatthew A. Jay

chapter 28|14 pages

Socio-legal approaches to online hate speech *

ByNicole Stremlau, Iginio Gagliardone