ANTH 513 Etnographic Approaches to Law and Conflict
The ways in which conflicts are understood and acted upon show a significant degree of variation from one social context to another. In this course we will try to understand the cultural processes that create this variation. We will use ethnographic material that is often the result of at least a year of field work, where the researcher observes and participates in the social and cultural life of the particular group. The ethnographies we will read will be about a diverse set of contexts such as Mexico, Iran, Turkey, New Guinea and urban America. Some of the questions we will tackle in particular will be; what are the different notions of justice -including fairness, equity etc.- that can be found in different cultural contexts? What is the relation of these different notions to the particular methods and mechanisms of resolving conflicts? When and how do these meanings and practices of justice contribute to the re-making of existing hierarchies-such as gender, age, status- and when and how do they come to challenge them?