Problems of discovering and representing reality, of making and transcribing rules into linguistic and other symbolic forms, of fact-finding and interpretation routinely confront policy-makers and lawyers. But, in a sense, everyone is a lawyer because ordinary human interaction is saturated with norms and normative processes, institutions, structures, and cultures. Everyday life thus provides an unlimited supply of images and events that raise some of the most complex issues of legal theory. In Lessons of Everyday Law Roderick MacDonald shows that stories of everyday law are revealing not just for what they can teach about policy-making and law reform but as accounts of practices internal to the little legal systems of everyday life. The norms governing ordinary encounters reveal how human beings make sense of their relationships with each other and translate these relationships into discrete, culturally determined legal forms and values. Most of these small-scale norms can also be found in larger normative settings, such as the official legal system of the political state and the multiple regimes of international law.
Lessons of Everyday Law suggests that the stream of influence between the micro-law of everyday life and the macro-law of the world legal order flows both ways. Attending to the normative dimensions of everyday human interaction enriches our understanding of the forms, aspirations, and limits of law -- wherever it is found.
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