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Law, Culture and Ritual

November 14, 2007

can’t you see it’s over, because you’re the god of a shrinking universeInternet! It’s been too long! You’re looking well.

So, hey. The fact that I’m breaking hiatus doesn’t mean that I’ve finished school, nor that I’ve become a good enough student that I’m able to stay on top of my work and have time for leisure reading on the side. Laughable. However, I did just read a book by Oscar Chase, called Law, Culture and Ritual: Disputing Systems in Cross-Cultural Context in preparation for a research paper for my Dispute Resolution class. And after two months of slowly reading giant texts which I’m probably never going to actually finish, highlighting and making notes as I go, it was hugely refreshing to sit down and read a book front to back, the first I’ve done since the summer. It was such a relief that I thought I should take the opportunity to visit the site, and clean up my book list while I’m at it. Books I’ve finished and the ones I haven’t gotten to yet are now in separate categories, because the list was starting to get kind of ridiculous.

As for this book – I’m planning on writing a paper arguing against Chase’s viewpoint, so I was reading it pretty antagonistically. Although even with an open mind, I’d find it hard to accept that poisoning a chicken to reach a verdict is the same thing as a modern Western trial with witnesses, evidence and juries. Professor Chase would probably say that’s just because my view is clouded by my Western lens, but, I mean: come on. Regardless, writing an actual review here is pointless because I can’t imagine why you’d ever want to read this book, unless you’re also in my Dispute Resolution class, in which case, please don’t steal my paper topic.

One month and one day left until winter break. If I can even bring myself to look at the printed word then, I’ll hopefully get through a few books and have something useful to say. Until then, back to radio silence.

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