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Until recently, legal ethnography has been understood as an integral part of legal anthropology and its studies of law in particular societies and cultures. In some older national traditions of European legal ethnology, including the Czech tradition, it has been considered a legal rather than a social science. Recent shifts in the perception of ethnography, which is increasingly understood as an autonomous methodology or a technology for knowledge production, are an opportunity to re-think the specific position of legal ethnography. This paper therefore explores the difference between ethnography as it is understood in the anthropology of law and the new relationship of “law and ethnography” as two autonomous variables. On the basis of several recent legal-ethnographic studies, it also seeks to identify the persistent common denominators of both approaches and attempts to show their possible contribution to the traditional methodology of legal research.


anthropology of law; legal ethnographies; legal sociology; law; ethnography

Article Text


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