School of Law

Legal Consciousness and Resistance: Constitutive Legality and Social Justice

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Legal Consciousness and Resistance: Constitutive Legality and Social Justice

In the first L&SJ Seminar on Innovative Methodological and Theoretical Approaches, Dr Rosie Harding, Birmingham Law School, explores the utility of legal consciousness studies for research on social justice. Beginning with an overview of the key conceptual contributions of legal consciousness studies – an empirical socio-legal methodology for researching the place of law in everyday life – she will then set out her understanding of legal consciousness with a particular focus on the utility of everyday practices of resistance as a mechanism for generating social justice oriented regulatory reform.

Drawing on two contrasting empirical case studies – arguments for same sex relationship recognition, and experiences of caring for a person with dementia – Rosie will argue that everyday experiences of law and regulation are constitutive of how regulatory frameworks work in everyday life, and that significant potential exists for everyday resistant practices to mobilise social justice aims and objectives towards regulatory reform.

This is a free event open to all but registration is required in advance at Eventbrite. Refreshments will be available.


Room 1.14, 
School of Law,
Liberty Building, 
University of Leeds

The L&SJ Seminar Series on Innovative Methodological and Theoretical Approaches

Law & Social Justice, established at the University of Leeds School of Law to support scholars, activists, organisations and practitioners who are interested in and engage with questions about inequalities in welfare and social justice, are excited to announce their Seminar Series exploring innovative methodological and theoretical approaches to conducting research with marginalised groups.

Our speakers have been selected on the basis of their ground-breaking contributions to research in the interdisciplinary fields of law, healthcare and social policy. They have been at the forefront of developing original approaches to accessing, working with, assisting, and advocating for, disadvantaged groups; as well as developing insightful and rigorous theoretical frameworks which have helped achieve more nuanced understandings of inequality and exclusion.

This seminar series will be of interest to academics, professionals and post-graduate students researching in the fields of law, social justice, social policy, welfare, disability, gender studies, family relations, healthcare, access to justice, and human rights. The Series will provide the opportunity to hear about and discuss exciting new ways to conceptualise and conduct research that aims to improve social justice.

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Dr Rosie Harding

Dr Rosie Harding is Senior Lecturer at Birmingham Law School and founder of PECANS, the Postgraduate and Early Career Academics Network of Scholars which supports research in the broadly conceived fields of law, gender and sexuality. She was awarded the 2011 Hart-SLSA Book Prize and Prize for Early Career Academics for her first book, Regulating Sexuality: Legal consciousness in lesbian and gay lives (Routledge 2011); which brought together literatures on legal pluralism and governmentality to open up new avenues for studies of legal consciousness, law and everyday life. Her current research is focused on mental capacity, care, and dementia, and she is working on a monograph, Duties to Care: Dementia, Law and Relationality (forthcoming, 2016, Cambridge University Press). This talk will bring together her research on same sex relationships and dementia in exploring the place of law in everyday life, as she reflects on her innovative methodological approach to conducting research with these marginalised groups.

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