Anthropology as the Eye of the Law - Comments on Canadian Jurisprudence
Journal of Legal Pluralism and Unofficial Law
GB : University of Birmingham
179 - 194 p.
Anthropology is a "knife, particularly effective for differentiating us from non-industrial societies, and from our own 'primitive' past" (Legendre 1985: 16). In practice, this 'knife' proves to be singularly difficult to handle. Any attempt at neat distinctions among categories such as 'non-industrial' or 'primitive' in questions of the lived law is quickly beset with ambivalence and other difficulties. With each stroke of 'the knife,' with each statement of difference, othemess or foreignness, the anthropology that deals with legal things integrates as much as it distinguishes. This transitivity is due to the fact that anthropology speaks of law in the law's own language (...). (résumé éditeur)