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4 - Legal Consciousness

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 March 2023

Lynette J. Chua
Affiliation:
National University of Singapore
David M. Engel
Affiliation:
State University of New York, Buffalo
Sida Liu
Affiliation:
The University of Hong Kong
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Summary

Legal consciousness refers to the ways in which people think and act in relation to law, including situations in which they view law as relevant and useful and those in which they reject law or never consider it at all. Some of the earliest law and society research in Asia—in Japan, Korea, and Indonesia, for example—attempted to explore the phenomenon of legal consciousness at the national level. Typically, such research depicted Asians as law-averse and non-litigious, but subsequently those characterizations were challenged and revised by scholars who proposed more complex explanations for the infrequency of litigation in some Asian societies. The readings in this chapter follow the evolution in legal consciousness research, from efforts to identify national traits to studies that examine the interaction of globalization and customary practices to produce unique forms of consciousness within different social groupings. The readings also explore the ways in which official definitions of rights are refracted through the lens of legal consciousness. The chapter concludes with a look at recent law and society studies that take a less individualistic approach to rights and emphasize instead the relational dimensions of legal consciousness.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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References

Primary Sources

Engel, David M. 2005. “Globalization and the Decline of Legal Consciousness: Torts, Ghosts, and Karma in Thailand.Law & Social Inquiry 30 (3): 469514. doi: 10.1111/j.1747-4469.2005.tb00351.xCrossRefGoogle Scholar
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Secondary Sources

Chua, Lynette J. and Engel, David M.. 2019. “Legal Consciousness Reconsidered.” Annual Review of Law and Social Science 15: 335–53. doi: annurev-lawsocsci-101518-042717CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Chua, Lynette J. and Engel, David M.. 2020. “Legal Consciousness.” In The Routledge Handbook of Law and Society, edited by Valverede, Mariana, Clarke, Kamari, Smith, Eve Darian, and Kotiswaran, Prabha, 187–91. London and New York: Routledge. doi: 10.4324/9780429293306-38Google Scholar
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  • Legal Consciousness
  • Lynette J. Chua, National University of Singapore, David M. Engel, State University of New York, Buffalo, Sida Liu, The University of Hong Kong
  • Book: The Asian Law and Society Reader
  • Online publication: 02 March 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108864824.005
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To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

  • Legal Consciousness
  • Lynette J. Chua, National University of Singapore, David M. Engel, State University of New York, Buffalo, Sida Liu, The University of Hong Kong
  • Book: The Asian Law and Society Reader
  • Online publication: 02 March 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108864824.005
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Legal Consciousness
  • Lynette J. Chua, National University of Singapore, David M. Engel, State University of New York, Buffalo, Sida Liu, The University of Hong Kong
  • Book: The Asian Law and Society Reader
  • Online publication: 02 March 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108864824.005
Available formats
×