University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > CRASSH > Grasping ‘Everyday Justice’: An Ethnographic Approach

Grasping ‘Everyday Justice’: An Ethnographic Approach

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Just as the effects of the law do not belong to any specific institutional space or domain, but manifest themselves in everyday life, so too does justice permeate the everyday (e.g., Merry 1990; Greenhouse, Yngvesson, & Engel 1994; Ewick & Silbey 1998; Sarat & Kearns 2009). Justice is woven into the fabric of everyday existence at different levels and in manifold ways. People understand, perceive, receive, experience and accomplish justice in many forms, either by themselves or through the mediation of other actors. Justice is plural in its meanings and expressions, while regimes of justice range in scale from family arbitration and indigenous forms of justice, to the International Criminal Court. It therefore seems inevitable that justice will remain both a familiar ideal or norm, and a difficult concept to specify.

This conference aims to generate a cumulative account of the ‘everyday nature of justice’. We invite theoretically grounded papers offering ethnographic insights into the plural nature of ‘everyday justice’ across the globe. By bringing together scholars whose work teases out the multiple locations and layers of ‘everyday justices’, our goal is to spotlight the process of everyday justice formation in all its ambiguity, complexity and plurality. In soliciting work at the junction of ‘justice’ and the ‘everyday’, we intend to provoke a reconceptualization of justice across multiple settings, one that brings a wider and more plural range of scholarship to bear on currently intractable social conflicts.

This talk is part of the CRASSH series.

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