Collaborative Research Network (CRN) 3 of the Law and Society Association focuses on the ethnographic study of law and society.

Ethnographic inquiries of law maintain a historic and steady position within the field of anthropology and are thus well-represented in legal anthropology journals and organizations. They also feature prominently in foundational law and society scholarship, as well as in the disciplines of criminology and sociology. As ethnography is often understood as straddling the empirical-interpretive divide increasingly evident with the advent of fields like Empirical Legal Studies and Law, Culture and Humanities, there is a renewed interest in revisiting the character and shape of ethnographic methods in sociolegal scholarship. This CRN is committed to fostering interdisciplinary dialogue around longstanding and emergent issues related to ethnographic law and society research.

CRN Activities 

The CRN in Ethnography, Law & Society offers a platform for collaboration amongst scholars in various regions of the world in order to strengthen international networks and create new opportunities for faculty and graduate students interested in expanding the scope of their research. It provides members with a number of opportunities to:

  • reflect on the meaning of “ethnographic research” and “ethnography”;
  • explore the benefits and boundaries of ethnographic research practice in the production of sociolegal knowledge;
  • identify opportunities to conduct collaborative and/or comparative law and society research with other ethnographers and with law and society scholars who use non-ethnographic research designs;
  • consider effective, multi-platform ways to share insights drawn from ethnographic law and society research within cross-disciplinary conversations as well as with varied public audiences;
  • share research and teaching resources; and
  • circulate relevant professional events and calls for participation and/or papers.