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Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
March 2024
Print publication year:
Online ISBN:
Creative Commons:
Creative Common License - CC Creative Common License - BY Creative Common License - NC Creative Common License - ND
This content is Open Access and distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0

Book description

Out of Place tells a new history of the field of law and society through the experiences and fieldwork of successful writers from populations that academia has historically marginalized. Encouraging collective and transparent self-reflection on positionality, the volume features scholars from around the world who share how their out-of-place positionalities influenced their research questions, data collection, analysis, and writing in law and society. From China to Colombia, India to Indonesia, Singapore to South Africa, and the United Kingdom to the United States, these experts record how they conducted their fieldwork, how their privileges and disadvantages impacted their training and research, and what they learned about the law in the process. As the global field of law and society becomes more diverse and an interest in identity grows, Out of Place is a call to embrace the power of positionality. This title is also available as Open Access on Cambridge Core.


‘Out of Place brings together nine of law and society’s most intriguing thinkers to discuss the influence of marginality, privilege, and social position on their work. The volume is a rich and compelling set of unblinking conversations about positionality’s complex and evolving role in sociolegal research—a truly field-shaping book.’

Kathryne Young - George Washington University

‘Out of Place is a groundbreaking book that centers on the experiences of marginalized scholars, primarily from the global South, navigating interdisciplinary law and society research. This insightful work shares valuable theoretical perspectives and firsthand fieldwork experiences, emphasizing the importance of acknowledging positionality in sociolegal studies. It is essential reading for academics striving to comprehend the diverse and intricate dynamics of empirical legal research in a rapidly evolving world.’

Sida Liu - University of Hong Kong

‘Out of Place is a timely collection by a group of innovative and traditionally marginalized scholars, who pursue a thoughtful exploration of the process of knowledge production in law and society scholarship. Their presentation and contextualization of positionality in fieldwork, through the process of bold theoretical excavation, layer by layer, is refreshing.’

Penelope Andrews - New York Law School

‘During my time in the academy, I have felt ‘out of place’ as a legal ethnographer and scholar of color on countless occasions. Then, along comes the edited volume I never knew I craved. Kudos to the editors and authors on such an insightful and important work.’

Jeffrey Omari - Gonzaga University

‘Out of Place is an innovative collection of essays that illustrates both the ubiquity, and the asymmetric impacts, of law in our lives. Insisting upon how a scholar’s revelation of their positionality can help to yield singular insights about law and power, Chua, Massoud, and their collaborators have authored an important entry in the law and society tradition. The essays that make up the collection are consistently provocative and thoroughly readable. Out of Place is a highly recommended read!’

Jeffery Dudas - University of Connecticut

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Full book PDF
  • Out of Place
    pp i-ii
  • Cambridge Studies in Law and Society - Series page
    pp iii-iv
  • Out of Place - Title page
    pp v-v
  • Fieldwork and Positionality in Law and Society
  • Copyright page
    pp vi-vi
  • Epigraph
    pp vii-viii
  • Contents
    pp ix-x
  • Contributors
    pp xi-xii
  • Preface
    pp xiii-xvi
  • Chapter One - Introduction
    pp 1-35
  • The Power of Positionality
  • Chapter Two - Research as Accompaniment
    pp 36-56
  • Reflections on Objectivity, Ethics, and Emotions
  • Chapter Four - Out of Place when Studying China’s Sex Industry
    pp 84-102
  • Index
    pp 209-213
  • Series page - Series page
    pp 214-224


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