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Legal Education and the Reproduction of Hierarchy: A Polemic Against the System (Critical America)by Duncan Kennedy
Synopses & Reviews
In 1983 Harvard law professor Duncan Kennedy self-published a biting critique of the law school system called Legal Education and the Reproduction of Hierarchy. This controversial booklet was reviewed in several major law journals—unprecedented for a self-published work—and influenced a generation of law students and teachers.
In this well-known critique, Duncan Kennedy argues that legal education reinforces class, race, and gender inequality in our society. However, Kennedy proposes a radical egalitarian alternative vision of what legal education should become, and a strategy, starting from the anarchist idea of workplace organizing, for struggle in that direction. Legal Education and the Reproduction of Hierarchy is comprehensive, covering everything about law school from the first day to moot court to job placement to life after law school. Kennedy's book remains one of the most cited works on American legal education.
The visually striking original text is reprinted here, making it available to a new generation. The text is buttressed by commentaries by five prominent legal scholars who consider its meaning for today, as well as by an introduction and afterword by the author that describes the context in which Kennedy wrote the book, including a brief history of critical legal studies.
Cutting, burning, branding, and bone-breaking are all types of self-injury, or the deliberate, non-suicidal destruction of ones own body tissue, a practice that emerged from obscurity in the 1990s and spread dramatically as a typical behavior among adolescents. Long considered a suicidal gesture, The Tender Cut argues instead that self-injury is often a coping mechanism, a form of teenage angst, an expression of group membership, and a type of rebellion, converting unbearable emotional pain into manageable physical pain.
Based on the largest, qualitative, non-clinical population of self-injurers ever gathered, noted ethnographers Patricia and Peter Adler draw on 150 interviews with self-injurers from all over the world, along with 30,000-40,000 internet posts in chat rooms and communiqués. Their 10-year longitudinal research follows the practice of self-injury from its early days when people engaged in it alone and did not know others, to the present, where a subculture has formed via cyberspace that shares similar norms, values, lore, vocabulary, and interests. An important portrait of a troubling behavior, The Tender Cut illuminates the meaning of self-injury in the 21st century, its effects on current and former users, and its future as a practice for self-discovery or a cry for help.
About the Author
Duncan Kennedy is Carter Professor of General Jurisprudence at Harvard University School of Law. He is the author of a number of books and articles, including A Critique of Adjudication [fin de siècle] and Sexy Dressing, Etc.: Essays on the Power and Politics of Cultural Identity.
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