Brazil and the field of socio-legal studies: Globalization, the Hegemony of the US, the Place of Law, and Elite Reproduction

Bryant Garth


This article is about the field of socio-legal studies and the sociology of the field. This division enables working with two dimensions of the author’s socio-legal scholarly personality, especially as it relates to Brazil. It is going to try to describe, not prescribe, and the description is very preliminary. It is in part meant to provoke responses and criticisms that will make the description better. Part one examines the rise and to some extent fall of the field of socio-legal studies in the United States.  Part two will examine and make a preliminary contrast to a kind of parallel and contrasting story in Brazil. Part three moves to a different approach, a more sociological approach, focusing on lawyers as a point of entry into issues of law and state. Part four is the most tentative part of this talk as it a very preliminary contrast of the U.S. story with what I know preliminarily about Brazil in relation to the same issues of the place of law, elite production, hegemony, and globalization. Finally, it raises a couple of research projects and questions raised by this sociological examination.


socio-legal studies; sociology; empirical research; Brazil

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