Mind the gap: The place of gap studies in sociolegal scholarship

Jon B. Gould, Scott Barclay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Arising in the late 1960s and early 1970s in conjunction with the development of sociology of law and the Law and Society Association gap studies dominated much of sociolegal scholarship for a time, providing multiple examples of the ways in which law on the books is inconsistent with law in action. These gaps, in turn, spurred calls for legal reform. By the 1980s, however, gap studies came in for criticism, not only for the presumption that law was purposively rational but also for scholars' beliefs that they could identify law's aims. To some, the findings were nai dieve or undertheorized. Nonetheless, gap studies have illuminated many legal practices and have helped to identify pathways by which law may have an impact. Even as sociolegal scholarship has become increasingly decentered from law, one still sees the tendrils of gap studies in research exploring discrepancies between expectations and actuality in law and legality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)323-335
Number of pages13
JournalAnnual Review of Law and Social Science
Volume8
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2012
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Law
sociology of law
legal usage
legality
criticism
reform

Keywords

  • decentering law
  • legal consciousness
  • legal impact
  • Sociolegal scholarship
  • sociology of law

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law

Cite this

Mind the gap : The place of gap studies in sociolegal scholarship. / Gould, Jon B.; Barclay, Scott.

In: Annual Review of Law and Social Science, Vol. 8, 01.12.2012, p. 323-335.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{e610dbf7dd5240f6b2ff53939c8bc169,
title = "Mind the gap: The place of gap studies in sociolegal scholarship",
abstract = "Arising in the late 1960s and early 1970s in conjunction with the development of sociology of law and the Law and Society Association gap studies dominated much of sociolegal scholarship for a time, providing multiple examples of the ways in which law on the books is inconsistent with law in action. These gaps, in turn, spurred calls for legal reform. By the 1980s, however, gap studies came in for criticism, not only for the presumption that law was purposively rational but also for scholars' beliefs that they could identify law's aims. To some, the findings were nai dieve or undertheorized. Nonetheless, gap studies have illuminated many legal practices and have helped to identify pathways by which law may have an impact. Even as sociolegal scholarship has become increasingly decentered from law, one still sees the tendrils of gap studies in research exploring discrepancies between expectations and actuality in law and legality.",
keywords = "decentering law, legal consciousness, legal impact, Sociolegal scholarship, sociology of law",
author = "Gould, {Jon B.} and Scott Barclay",
year = "2012",
month = "12",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1146/annurev-lawsocsci-102811-173833",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "8",
pages = "323--335",
journal = "Annual Review of Law and Social Science",
issn = "1550-3585",
publisher = "Annual Reviews Inc.",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Mind the gap

T2 - The place of gap studies in sociolegal scholarship

AU - Gould, Jon B.

AU - Barclay, Scott

PY - 2012/12/1

Y1 - 2012/12/1

N2 - Arising in the late 1960s and early 1970s in conjunction with the development of sociology of law and the Law and Society Association gap studies dominated much of sociolegal scholarship for a time, providing multiple examples of the ways in which law on the books is inconsistent with law in action. These gaps, in turn, spurred calls for legal reform. By the 1980s, however, gap studies came in for criticism, not only for the presumption that law was purposively rational but also for scholars' beliefs that they could identify law's aims. To some, the findings were nai dieve or undertheorized. Nonetheless, gap studies have illuminated many legal practices and have helped to identify pathways by which law may have an impact. Even as sociolegal scholarship has become increasingly decentered from law, one still sees the tendrils of gap studies in research exploring discrepancies between expectations and actuality in law and legality.

AB - Arising in the late 1960s and early 1970s in conjunction with the development of sociology of law and the Law and Society Association gap studies dominated much of sociolegal scholarship for a time, providing multiple examples of the ways in which law on the books is inconsistent with law in action. These gaps, in turn, spurred calls for legal reform. By the 1980s, however, gap studies came in for criticism, not only for the presumption that law was purposively rational but also for scholars' beliefs that they could identify law's aims. To some, the findings were nai dieve or undertheorized. Nonetheless, gap studies have illuminated many legal practices and have helped to identify pathways by which law may have an impact. Even as sociolegal scholarship has become increasingly decentered from law, one still sees the tendrils of gap studies in research exploring discrepancies between expectations and actuality in law and legality.

KW - decentering law

KW - legal consciousness

KW - legal impact

KW - Sociolegal scholarship

KW - sociology of law

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84873308589&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84873308589&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1146/annurev-lawsocsci-102811-173833

DO - 10.1146/annurev-lawsocsci-102811-173833

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:84873308589

VL - 8

SP - 323

EP - 335

JO - Annual Review of Law and Social Science

JF - Annual Review of Law and Social Science

SN - 1550-3585

ER -