Community, Family, and Law(s) in the Global South and its Diasporas

Fri, 5/31: 12:45 PM  - 2:30 PM 
Paper Session 
Friday Session 3 
Room: Regency B 
This panel explores the sociolegal construction of family and community relationships in the Global South and its diasporas. Using ethnographic and qualitative methods, the papers examine the different ways laypeople use state, religious, and customary law to define, contest, and give meaning to their relations and obligations. With research on urban and rural China, Kenya, South Africa, and Muslim communities in the U.S., the papers examine many types of legal action: from family struggles over marriage and divorce, to everyday use of religious law, to organized political action. The papers engage core sociolegal questions about legal pluralism, legal consciousness, and legal mobilization, highlighting the importance of Global South and diasporic research for understanding the daily life of law, in all its multiple forms.


Michael Yarbrough, John Jay College of Criminal Justice (CUNY)  - Contact Me


Sally Engle Merry, New York University  - Contact Me


03: Ethnography, Law & Society

Primary Keyword

Legal Culture, Legal Consciousness, Comparative Legal Cultures

Secondary Keyword

Legal Pluralism


"I Now Declare You...": Contesting Marital Status in South Africa, Past and Present


Michael Yarbrough, John Jay College of Criminal Justice (CUNY)  - Contact Me

Everyday Shari’a: Islamic Legal Consciousness in America


Mark Fathi Massoud, University of California, Santa Cruz  - Contact Me


Kathleen Moore, University of California, Santa Barbara  - Contact Me

From Contention to Resignation: Divorce Litigation, Power, and Inequality in Rural China


Ke Li, John Jay College of Criminal Justice  - Contact Me

New Rules: Law Reform and the Transformation of Kenyan Families


Susan Hirsch, George Mason University  - Contact Me

Parental Acceptance vs. State Recognition: Legalizing LGBTQ Families in China


Di Wang, UW-Madison  - Contact Me

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