Research Handbook on Modern Legal Realism
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Research Handbook on Modern Legal Realism

Edited by Shauhin Talesh, Elizabeth Mertz and Heinz Klug

This insightful Research Handbook provides a definitive overview of the New Legal Realism (NLR) movement, reaching beyond historical and national boundaries to form new conversations. Drawing on deep roots within the law-and-society tradition, it demonstrates the powerful virtues of new legal realist research and its attention to the challenges of translation between social science and law. It explores an impressive range of contemporary issues including immigration, policing, globalization, legal education, and access to justice, concluding with and examination of how different social science disciplines intersect with NLR.
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Chapter 12: Critical legal rhetoric takes on immigration and refugee law

Sara L. McKinnon


This essay provides an overview of Critical Legal Rhetoric as an approach to study the law that examines the practical force of language in legal contexts. Narrowing in on immigration and refugee law, the chapter examines the gendered nature of refugee law’s emergence how the conceptualization of gender has impacted women’s ability to seek refugee status. The chapter then considers the way dominant discourses attach to the subjectivities and bodies of non-citizen subjects, enabling or constricting the ability to gain relief. In total, the essay offers as a practical, realist framework for understanding how non-citizen subjects have been discursively constituted through legal struggles, and also to understand the precarities that immigrants and refugees face as they navigate the legal structures of international and national law.

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