In this remarkable collaboration, one of the nation's leading civil rights lawyers joins forces with one of the world's foremost cultural psychologists to put American constitutional law into an American cultural context. By close readings of key Supreme Court opinions, they show how storytelling tactics and deeply rooted mythic structures shape the Court's decisions about race, family law, and the death penalty.
Minding the Law explores crucial psychological processes involved in the work of lawyers and judges: deciding whether particular cases fit within a legal rule ("categorizing"), telling stories to justify one's claims or undercut those of an adversary ("narrative"), and tailoring one's language to be persuasive without appearing partisan ("rhetorics"). Because these processes are not unique to the law, courts' decisions cannot rest solely upon legal logic but must also depend vitally upon the underlying culture's storehouse of familiar tales of heroes and villains.
But a culture's stock of stories is not changeless.
Amsterdam and Bruner argue that culture itself is a dialectic constantly in progress, a conflict between the established canon and newly imagined "possible worlds." They illustrate the swings of this dialectic by a masterly analysis of the Supreme Court's race-discrimination decisions during the past century.
A passionate plea for heightened consciousness about the way law is practiced and made, Minding the Law will be welcomed by a new generation concerned with renewing law's commitment to a humane justice.
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Anthony G. Amsterdam is Judge Edward Weinfeld Professor of Law at New York University School of Law and has been a MacArthur Fellow.
Jerome Bruner is University Professor at New York University and the author of many books, including Acts of Meaning; On Knowing; The Process of Education; and Toward a Theory of Instruction (all published by Harvard).
Perhaps the most unusual is the pairing of law professor Amsterdam and cultural psychologist Bruner, both of New York University, in a study that grows out of the "lawyering theory" seminar they have team-taught for 10 years. Their goal is to "make the familiar strange again," specifically, to examine the routine legal processes of categorization, storytelling, and persuasion, as well as the culture within which these processes take place. After discussing each subject (categories, narrative, rhetorics, and the dialectic of culture), they explore its operation in one or two significant Supreme Court decisions, "unearth[ing] concealed presuppositions, categorical pitfalls, narrative predilections, rhetorical constructions, cultural biases." Such interpretive dilemmas, they suggest, are inevitable, but may be less troublesome to the extent that the effects of categories, narrative, rhetorics, and culture are acknowledged, rather than ignored. Mary Carroll
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Descrizione libro Harvard University Press, 2001. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. book. Codice libro della libreria 067400289X
Descrizione libro Harvard University Press, 2001. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. Codice libro della libreria P11067400289X
Descrizione libro Condizione libro: Brand New. Book Condition: Brand New. Codice libro della libreria 97806740028901.0
Descrizione libro Harvard University Press. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. 067400289X New Condition. Codice libro della libreria NEW6.0954123
Descrizione libro Harvard University Press, 2000. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. Condizione sovraccoperta: New. 1st Edition. New hardcover book with dust jacket, never been read. Out-of-print in hardcover. Codice libro della libreria 010098