Critical Legal Studies: A Guide to the Literature

Critical Legal Studies: A Guide to the Literature

Critical Legal Studies: A Guide to the Literature

Critical Legal Studies: A Guide to the Literature

Excerpt

Work on this guide began several years ago when I prepared a prototype of it for a class I was offering on critical legal theory. To help my students navigate their way through the mass of literature, in both legal and other types of periodicals, that has flourished in and around the critical legal studies movement, I arranged citations to some of the more salient sources (accompanied by brief notes) under convenient headings. I have retained the same format in this published version.

This guide is not meant to be exhaustively taxonomic, nor does it contain every possible item that might have been included. The structure I have adopted is largely arbitrary. The same themes and literature could have been organized differently. There are several things this guide does not accomplish. First, it does not pretend to define critical legal studies with any degree of specificity. The comments at the beginning of each section should be considered merely suggestive, rather than definitive. They are primarily descriptive and often derive from some, but not necessarily all, of the published work listed under the relevant heading. There is little attempt to evaluate the contributions of any particular authors or of the movement as a whole. Although some writers are mentioned in the text of the remarks, this does not mean that the work of other writers not mentioned is in some way inferior or secondary.

Users of this bibliography should also be cautioned that the suggested themes or views are not necessarily consistent with every published piece of work that could justifiably be called radical critique. The descriptive contents of this bibliography are intended merely to help the inquisitive reader on first acquaintance with contemporary critical analysis of the law. That reader must sample and wrestle with the readings themselves before reaching an independent perspective about any particular values, arguments or insights that mark the movement. Third, there is nothing official about this guide. Considered as a whole, the contents of this guide should confound any idea that critical legal studies, which is nothing if not polyphonal, is unified by any narrow program or particular set of presuppositions. It would be a travesty to reduce it to a school of settled legal thinking.

The Conference on Critical Legal Studies functions without many of the formal trappings of other organizations. Members of the Conference . . .

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