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Rorschach Tests, Pluralism, and Hopes for the Future: A Response to the Responses

  • Kitty Calavita

Abstract

In this essay, I address some of the concerns raised by contributors to the Symposium on Invitation to Law & Society: An Introduction to the Study of Real Law. I argue that law and society scholarship focusing on race increasingly offers some of our field's best empirical analyses of the interpenetration of law and society; I emphasize the importance of the methodological and theoretical diversity that characterizes our fragmented field, arguing that our pluralism is one of our greatest strengths; I clarify my intended meaning of the term “real law” as I use it in the book's subtitle, as a way to underscore the socially constituted quality of all law; I attempt to rescue the reputation of dialectics from charges of “relativism”; and I reiterate my appreciation for our field's engagement with questions of social justice that has characterized it since its inception. In the second half of the essay, I briefly describe my current prison research and offer some thoughts for the future of our field.

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