Crime and Punishment in Latin America: Law and Society Since Late Colonial Times

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9780822327349: Crime and Punishment in Latin America: Law and Society Since Late Colonial Times

Crowning a decade of innovative efforts in the historical study of law and legal phenomena in the region, Crime and Punishment in Latin America offers a collection of essays that deal with the multiple aspects of the relationship between ordinary people and the law. Building on a variety of methodological and theoretical trends—cultural history, subaltern studies, new political history, and others—the contributors share the conviction that law and legal phenomena are crucial elements in the formation and functioning of modern Latin American societies and, as such, need to be brought to the forefront of scholarly debates about the region’s past and present.
While disassociating law from a strictly legalist approach, the volume showcases a number of highly original studies on topics such as the role of law in processes of state formation and social and political conflict, the resonance between legal and cultural phenomena, and the contested nature of law-enforcing discourses and practices. Treating law as an ambiguous and malleable arena of struggle, the contributors to this volume—scholars from North and Latin America who represent the new wave in legal history that has emerged in recent years-- demonstrate that law not only produces and reformulates culture, but also shapes and is shaped by larger processes of political, social, economic, and cultural change. In addition, they offer valuable insights about the ways in which legal systems and cultures in Latin America compare to those in England, Western Europe, and the United States.
This volume will appeal to scholars in Latin American studies and to those interested in the social, cultural, and comparative history of law and legal phenomena.

Contributors. Carlos Aguirre, Dain Borges, Lila Caimari, Arlene J. Díaz, Luis A. Gonzalez, Donna J. Guy, Douglas Hay, Gilbert M. Joseph, Juan Manuel Palacio, Diana Paton, Pablo Piccato, Cristina Rivera Garza, Kristin Ruggiero, Ricardo D. Salvatore, Charles F. Walker

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From the Publisher:

“This collection makes clear, through well-researched case studies and specific examples, that the law and legal institutions have had a more important role in maintaining the social order and the regulation of contention in Latin American history than previously revealed. As such, it will have a crucial impact on this and other fields.”——Thomas H. Holloway, University of California, Davis

“This volume marks a breakthrough in the historical study of criminality, social deviance, punishment, and legal systems in Latin America. The contributions are empirically deep, interestingly theorized, and brought together by a very sophisticated introductory essay. The essays immerse us in such vital themes as modernization and the law, the medicalization of crime and deviance, and the modes by which ordinary people faced the state and its institutions—in the broad issue of legal culture, in other words.”—Eric Van Young, University of California, San Diego

From the Back Cover:

"This volume marks a breakthrough in the historical study of criminality, social deviance, punishment, and legal systems in Latin America. The contributions are empirically deep, interestingly theorized, and brought together by a very sophisticated introductory essay. The essays immerse us in such vital themes as modernization and the law, the medicalization of crime and deviance, and the modes by which ordinary people faced the state and its institutions--in the broad issue of legal culture, in other words."--Eric Van Young, University of California, San Diego

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