Exploring the ‘Socio’ of Socio-Legal Studies

  • Dermot Feenan
Part of the Palgrave Macmillan Socio-Legal Studies book series (PSLS)


Socio-legal studies is now sufficiently well established internationally as a field of enquiry to warrant reflective examination of one of the key elements of such study; the ‘socio’ of the ‘socio-legal’. The significance and reach of socio-legal studies means that this examination is important not only to those who identify as socio-legal scholars, but to an expanding number of students, researchers and policymakers in law and in other fields informed by those studies. This focus on the socio also reflects a widespread and growing sense — not limited to socio-legal studies — that rapid changes in late modernity, such as consumerism, globalization, or neoliberalism, pose fresh challenges. Moreover, the profound social changes resulting from the economic crisis in many advanced capitalist countries in the new millennium provide added justification for this examination. This chapter introduces a book which was conceived to address these issues. The book brings together a variety of scholars, whose work has been selected because of their distinctive contribution to an aspect of the socio — whether, for example, in cultural studies, social policy, or legal studies.1 The distinctiveness of their contributions carries with it another justification: that diverse, dynamic and contested understandings of the social require continuous attention where the legal is also in issue. But before introducing those contributions, this chapter takes stock of the key features of the existing field. The chapter then concludes with consideration of possible pathways for future developments in the socio-legal field.


Corporate Governance Human Trafficking Legal Scholarship Legal Study Actor Network Theory 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Dermot Feenan 2013

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  • Dermot Feenan

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