Folk Law: Essays in the Theory and Practice of Lex Non Scripta

Hardback
In every culture there exists unwritten law obligations and prohibitions that are understood and passed on, and transgressions that are punished. Folk Law, a comprehensive two-volume collection of essays, examines this meeting place of folklore and jurisprudence. The contributors explore the historical significance and implications of folk law, its continuing influence around the globe, and the conflicts that arise when folk law diverges from official law. The collection begins by defining various forms of folk law, drawing on examples from many cultures. The second section provides historical profiles of pioneering figures in the study of folk law. Following sections examine field research techniques used to identify folk laws; aspects of folk law within the realm of rituals, songs, and other forms of expressive culture; instances where folk law comes into conflict with national law, and the role of folk law in the international arena. The volumes also include description and analysis of two approaches to folk law the rule approach, in which scholars dissect the codes that underlie folk law, and the case approach, in which researchers examine specific cases involving folk law. Valuable for students and scholars of law, folklore, or anthropology, this extensive casebook marks a rare interdisciplinary approach to two important areas of research.