I would like first to acknowledge Robert Edgerton's influence on my thinking about American culture, which came through my working with him and Craig McAndrew as an undergraduate research assistant when they were studying the culture of patients at a southern California hospital for the mentally retarded. Through participation in their ethnographic research, I came to be able to think about my own culture anthropologically.
The research itself was supported by two postdoctoral fellowships--a Russell Sage Residency in Law and Social Sciences and a National Science Foundation National Needs Postdoctoral Fellowship. During the year I took courses at the University of Arizona College of Law, I learned a great deal from my professors Joel Finer, David Wexler, Charles Ares, and Dan Dobbs. Charles Ares guided some of my initial inquiries into the judiciary and introduced me to the Honorable William Druke, who at that time was associate presiding judge of the Pima County Superior Court. Judge Druke, in turn, agreed to supervise my research in that court. He arranged meetings for me with prospective subjects for my study. Judge Druke also obtained an oral ruling from the Honorable Stanley Feldman, chief justice of the Arizona Supreme Court, that my tape recording in court, not allowed by outsiders at that time, could be carried out as an exception for educational purposes. My greatest debt is to the nine judges who participated in this study. They gave generously and thoughtfully of their time and ideas, each offering distinctive perspectives. Their staff members reflected the high morale surrounding all of these judges in their kindness and hospitality on the many occasions when I visited judges' chambers.
I am also grateful to graduate students at the University of Arizona for research assistance of various kinds. Jean Florman did most of the transcription of recordings of court proceedings from a summer of initial pilot work. Terry Reichardt Betancourt