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Invitation to Law and Society, Second Edition

An Introduction to the Study of Real Law

Law and society is a rapidly growing field that turns the conventional view of law as mythical abstraction on its head. Kitty Calavita brilliantly brings to life the ways in which law is found not only in statutes and courtrooms but in our institutions and interactions, while inviting readers into conversations that introduce the field’s dominant themes and most lively disagreements. Deftly interweaving scholarship with familiar examples, Calavita shows how scholars in the discipline are collectively engaged in a subversive exposé of law’s public mythology. While surveying prominent issues and distinctive approaches to both law as it is written and actual legal practices, as well as the law’s potential as a tool for social change, this volume provides a view of law that is more real but just as compelling as its mythic counterpart.

With this second edition of Invitation to Law and Society, Calavita brings up to date what is arguably the leading introduction to this exciting, evolving field of inquiry and adds a new chapter on the growing law and cultural studies movement.

Read the introduction.

240 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 | © 2016

Chicago Series in Law and Society

Law and Legal Studies: General Legal Studies, Law and Society

Sociology: Criminology, Delinquency, Social Control


“Calavita expertly summarizes many of the central themes of law and society scholarship as they have developed over the past fifty years. . . . She makes her case crisply, in 150 entertaining and conversational pages.”

Law and Social Inquiry

“Calavita weaves together the results of highly regarded research with real-life examples to lucidly connect some of the divisive social issues confronting us today to that thing we call ‘the law.’”

Law and Politics Book Review

“A well-published author in the field of law and society, Calavita discusses the most common types of contemporary law and shows that laws related to everyday life experiences affect all people. . . . Recommended.”


 “A good broad-brush account of some of the best work in the field and some of the prevailing concerns of law and society scholars.”

Social and Legal Studies

Table of Contents

Preface to the Second Edition

Chapter 1. Introduction
Chapter 2. Types of Society, Types of Law
Chapter 3. Law in the Everyday, Everywhere
Chapter 4. The Color of Law
Chapter 5. Many Laws, Many Orders
Chapter 6. The Talk versus the Walk of Law
Chapter 7. Law and Social Justice: Plus ça change . . .
Chapter 8. Reflecting on Law’s Image: An Inward Turn?
Chapter 9. Conclusion


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