Bringing Sociology of Law Back into Pierre Bourdieu's Sociology: Elements of Bourdieu's Sociology of Law and Dispute Transformation

Annette Olesen, Ole Hammerslev

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

The academic response to Bourdieu's sociology of law has mainly followed his Weberian focus on the role of legal professionals in state transformations. However, rereading Bourdieu's “The Force of Law” through the lens of its references and relating it to the sociology of law “of the moment” (i.e. that of the 1980s), it becomes clear that Bourdieu's sociology of law is more sophisticated than has generally been acknowledged. In this article, we reread Bourdieu's article with a specific focus on the hitherto overlooked parts that elucidate dispute transformation. We unpack one of Bourdieu's most central sources, Felstiner et al. (1981) , by rereading it in the light of Bourdieu's sociological tools. Emphasizing Bourdieu's implicit points about the pre-dispute phase accentuates how habitual dispositions and forms of capital have an impact on the possibilities available to citizens to transform a justiciable problem into a legal dispute.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSocial & Legal Studies
Volume32
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)177-196
ISSN0964-6639
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2023

Keywords

  • Abel & Sarat
  • Bourdieu
  • Felstiner
  • lawyers
  • naming-blaming-claiming
  • the force of law

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