Bringing Society to Law: A Critically Raced Accounting

  • Francisco Valdes
Part of the Palgrave Macmillan Socio-Legal Studies book series (PSLS)


Critical race theory (CRT) originated in the late 1980s, emerging from the legal academy of the US in response to the continuing legacy of racial stratification and subordination in both cultural and material terms, even decades after the civil rights movements and the antidiscrimination laws of the 1960s. These origins were a response both to internal conditions of racial power and privilege within the legal academy and scholarship as well as to external conditions of social inequality and injustice based on racial subordination across society at large (Cho and Westley, 2002; Crenshaw, 2002). Since then, these two dimensions of social consciousness have framed ‘outsider’1 engagement with law, at the same time as inverting a traditional ‘law and society’ logic by bringing a particular understanding of society to law, thus informing the critically raced accounting of the ‘socio’ of socio-legal scholarship that is the subject of this chapter. It follows that this ‘socio-legal’ approach brings a distinctive understanding of the relationship between society and law that differs from other socio-legal approaches. This chapter reviews the development and distinctive contributions that CRT and Latina/o-crictical theory (LatCrit) scholarship have made to this relation, identifying ten key hallmarks that characterize this still young body of work.


Knowledge Production Legal Scholarship Critical Race Theory Legal Knowledge Critical Legal Study 
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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© Francisco Valdes 2013

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  • Francisco Valdes

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