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The U.S. Case Study

The US case study is a conceptual offspring of the English pilot project carried out by Dr. Thomas Scheffer in Lancaster in 2001-2002. It is based on two phases of ethnographic fieldwork conducted in a small legal firm in Pierre, South Dakota in 2003 and 2004, respectively. The aims of the US case study have been defined by the general parameters of the original project and refined in light of the contextual specifics of the US legal system. The study therefore seeks to examine the relationship between criminal defense casework at the stage of preparation and its enactment at the trial stage as a local accomplishment.

More specifically, the study utilizes various data (embodied in several specific cases) collected at two law practices, in Tribal, State, and Federal courts, and in various liminal sites (e.g., fieldwork notes, audio and video recordings of attorneys and other legal figures at work, copies of various documents that form and inform the file, photographs, as well as formal and informal interviews with various legal professionals) toward explicating minute properties of defense actions and activities from the microsociological (phenomenological, ethnomethodological, conversation analytic, and semiotic) perspective. For the state of research click on Current Research . For the particulars about the methods, click on Phenomenological Methods.



New activities

Special Issue on "Law and Biography" in BIOS

Call for Abstracts/French-German Conference on “Enfermement/Freiheitsentzug

Latest Texts/Books

My ethnography on the English Crown Court procedure by BRILL

Our comparative ethnography of criminal defence work in different procedural regimes by PALGRAVE

Teaching in SS 2011

Scheffer: „Einführung in die Institutionelle Ethnographie“ Kurs in Moodle

Scheffer: „Was tun Verfahren? Eine sozialwissenschaftliche Debatte“ Kurs in Moodle

Scheffer: „Arbeitskreis politische Ethnographie“ Termine in Moodle

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