Chapter 5 Ethnography and law in a transnational world: knowledge, power and discourse
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This chapter examines how ethnography represents both an epistemological approach and methodological tool in generating knowledge and understanding about subjects of social research. It highlights a qualitative, grounded and empirical perspective on research that stands in contrast to positive approaches to schemas or normative theories of social life based on the objective nature of ‘truth’. As law forms an integral part of social life how it is constituted, legitimated and interpreted varies under conditions of wider plural legal constellations. The chapter explores these dynamics in a transnational world that gives rise to differing forms of representation and meaning in the production of knowledge to varying effects. In doing so, it raises questions about new forms of engagement, along with the multiple dimensions of power that are at work across time and space that give rise to inequality and social differentiation in all of their numerous manifestations.

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