Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Contested meanings - imagined practices: Law at the intersection of mediation and legal profession a socio-legal study of the juridical field in Turkey
by Kalem, Seda, Ph.D., New School University, 2010, 334; 3403445
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation attempts to explore how the boundaries of the “juridical field” in Turkey are imagined by legal professionals operating within this field. The Draft Law on Mediation in Civil Disputes which is still in the process of legislative deliberation is taken as the primary object of analysis in the context of the controversies it has aroused among actors of the juridical field. The hypothesis is that through an exploration of the debates around mediation, an empirical understanding of the struggles within the juridical field in Turkey can be possible. From within a Bourdieusian framework, these struggles are seen as symbolic of the larger universe of social and political imaginaries within which the habitus of legal professionals is shaped. In this sense, the relevance of such an exploration of the struggles around an emerging institution and the implications of these struggles for the imagined boundaries of the juridical field is explained in the context of the ideological role of law and legal professionals in Turkey’s modernization experience. The analysis of representations of mediation in various channels like media, institutional statements and online discussion sites supplemented with the data from interviews with actors engaged in mediation debates display how the ways in which legal professionals compete over the form and the practice of mediation are at the same time symbolic of the ways in which they imagine society, law and legal profession. As legal professionals think and talk about mediation and as they situate themselves within these debates, public/private, formal/informal and modern/traditional emerge as key dichotomies around which they frame their opinions on society, law and legal profession. In light of the prominence of these dichotomies, it is argued that the legal consciousness of these professionals is still very much shaped in reference to an overarching modernist paradigm of the Republic. The fact that these dichotomies have also been the key axes around which the new nation and its state have been founded attests to the prominence of Republican trajectories in shaping the ways in which legal professionals imagine the society, the law and the legal profession.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Arato, Andrew
Commitee: Bargu, Banu, Zolberg, Vera
School: New School University
Department: Sociology
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 71/06, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Legal Studies, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Social structure
Keywords: Juridical field, Legal consciousness, Legal profession, Mediation, Modernization and law, Socio-legal studies, Turkey
Publication Number: 3403445
ISBN: 978-1-109-76975-3
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