SHS Web Conf.
Volume 118, 2021RUDN Conference on Legal Theory, Methodology and Regulatory Practice (RUDN LTMRP Conference 2021)
|Number of page(s)||6|
|Section||Modern Legal Science: Search for the Methodological Basis|
|Published online||23 August 2021|
Methodological limitations of sociocultural studies of law
RUDN University, Law Institute, Department of Theory of Law and State, Moscow, Russia
1 Corresponding author: Zinkovskiyfirstname.lastname@example.org
The purpose of the study is to identify the methodological limitations of sociocultural studies of law. The research methods center around the thesis that the sociocultural approach in legal scholarship is most persuasive when implemented in a relatively limited social context. This kind of research is empirical and shows no attention to the creation of explanatory theoretical constructs. The possibilities for comparative legal analysis are also limited because empirical research is primarily descriptive. The result of the study proved that the methods of considering law through the prism of culture are not always able to provide clear tools for analyzing the social factors that determine the features of institutional and procedural differences in law. In addition, the study concludes that the study of law as a cultural phenomenon requires the use of ideal constructions in the process of cognition. On the one hand, it allows operating with concepts whose content is not formally defined. On the other hand, it entails the impossibility of identifying the general principles of the organization of real legal phenomena, the cause-and-effect relationships between them. Foreign sociocultural studies of law often use the concept of “cultural community”, the scope of which allows asserting that the subject of research goes far beyond the scope of legal science. The study’s novelty lies in an attempt to assess whether the search for cultural foundations of law “blurs” the subject of legal science. The main reason for the “conceptual blurring” of sociocultural studies of law is the lack of a universal, generally recognized approach to defining the concept of culture in Russian and foreign legal science. However, the reductionism of the context of sociocultural studies of law, the use of legal and non-legal concepts and categories cannot always be characterized as unproductive. The revealed methodological limitations of sociocultural studies of law do not prevent the explanation of the actual nature of legal phenomena.
Key words: law as culture / cross-cultural studies / cultural evolution / legal culture / methodological limitations
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences 2021
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