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The law is a white dog : how legal rituals make and unmake persons / Colin Dayan.

By: Dayan, Colin [author.].
Material type: TextTextSeries: JSTOR eBooks.Publisher: Princeton : Princeton University Press, ©2011Description: 1 online resource (xvii, 343 pages).Content type: text Media type: computer Carrier type: online resourceISBN: 9781400838592; 1400838592; 1282976478; 9781282976474.Subject(s): Persons (Law) -- United States | Slavery -- Law and legislation -- United States | Torture -- United States | Civil rights -- United States | Law -- Social aspects -- United StatesAdditional physical formats: Print version:: Law is a white dog.DDC classification: 346.7301/2 Online resources: Click here to view this ebook.
Contents:
Holy dogs, Hecuba's bark -- Civil death -- Punishing the residue -- Taxonomies -- A legal ethnography -- Who gets to be wanton? -- Skin of the dog.
Summary: Abused dogs, prisoners tortured in Guantánamo and supermax facilities, or slaves killed by the state--all are deprived of personhood through legal acts. Such deprivations have recurred throughout history, and the law sustains these terrors and banishments even as it upholds the civil order. Examining such troubling cases, The Law Is a White Dog tackles key societal questions: How does the law construct our identities? How do its rules and sanctions make or unmake persons? And how do the supposedly rational claims of the law define marginal entities, both natural and supernatural, including ghosts, dogs, slaves, terrorist suspects, and felons? Reading the language, allusions, and symbols of legal discourse, and bridging distinctions between the human and nonhuman, Colin Dayan looks at how the law disfigures individuals and animals, and how slavery, punishment, and torture create unforeseen effects in our daily lives.
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Item type Current location Call number URL Status Date due Barcode
Electronic Book UT Tyler Online
Online
KF465 .D39 2011 (Browse shelf) https://ezproxy.uttyler.edu/login?url=http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2307/j.ctt7sfr9 Available ocn708566306

Includes bibliographical references and index.

Holy dogs, Hecuba's bark -- Civil death -- Punishing the residue -- Taxonomies -- A legal ethnography -- Who gets to be wanton? -- Skin of the dog.

Abused dogs, prisoners tortured in Guantánamo and supermax facilities, or slaves killed by the state--all are deprived of personhood through legal acts. Such deprivations have recurred throughout history, and the law sustains these terrors and banishments even as it upholds the civil order. Examining such troubling cases, The Law Is a White Dog tackles key societal questions: How does the law construct our identities? How do its rules and sanctions make or unmake persons? And how do the supposedly rational claims of the law define marginal entities, both natural and supernatural, including ghosts, dogs, slaves, terrorist suspects, and felons? Reading the language, allusions, and symbols of legal discourse, and bridging distinctions between the human and nonhuman, Colin Dayan looks at how the law disfigures individuals and animals, and how slavery, punishment, and torture create unforeseen effects in our daily lives.

Print version record.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

CHOICE Review

Innovative, theoretically dense, and truly interdisciplinary, this work by Dayan (humanities, Vanderbilt Univ.) is one of the most valuable contemporary books on law and society to come out in quite some time. The author uses law, history, politics, and anthropology to outline how legal rituals construct societal identities. The book addresses two main themes: legal practices and spiritual beliefs. Dayan's goal, which she achieves seamlessly, is to show the reader that society has marginalized, excluded, and dehumanized people for centuries and that contemporary law often mirrors those injustices. She begins by presenting various evidence of the law's reinforcement of rituals. The most powerful section of the book may be her account of prisons. She interviewed a series of deputy wardens, specifically in "supermax" prisons, and found that legal language was used in prisons to tailor confinement of space, define constitutional expectations, separate inmates, and promote punishments. It becomes quite clear that those in positions of power have reconstituted the expectations of civility and humane treatment. The Law Is a White Dog is an innovative, highly intellectual book best suited for the intellectually curious and for graduates and laypeople interested in true interdisciplinary scholarship. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above. A. R. S. Lorenz Ramapo College

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Colin Dayan is the Robert Penn Warren Professor in the Humanities at Vanderbilt University. Her books include Haiti, History, and the Gods and The Story of Cruel and Unusual .

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