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Realistic Socio-Legal TheoryPragmatism and a Social Theory of Law$
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Brian Z. Tamanaha

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780198298250

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198298250.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 17 September 2021

Introduction: the Problematic State of Socio-legal Studies

Introduction: the Problematic State of Socio-legal Studies

(p.1) 1 Introduction: the Problematic State of Socio-legal Studies
Realistic Socio-Legal Theory

Brian Z. Tamanaha

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the problems being faced by the field of socio-legal studies. Despite huge growth in its popularity socio-legal studies has been under continuous pressure from different sectors. The Postmodernist camp argues that socio-legal studies is a dead end endeavour due to the fact that it has strong connections to the field of Social Science. According to Postmodernist, the Social Sciences deal with matters that are unquantifiable furthermore; it lacks significant empirical method or data to prove its findings. Aside from the Postmodernist challenge, there are three important issues that proponents of socio-legal studies should confront. First is the questionable value of the work produced by socio-legal studies, second is the perceived underdevelopment of the field of study, and last is the claim that the Social Legal Studies suffers from too much politics. At the end of the chapter different alternatives and solutions to the problems facing socio-legal studies are discussed.

Keywords:   social science, postmodernism, empirical method, politics

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