The woven object of law and the weaving process of law: an interdisciplinary conception of legal pluralism in Samoa




Reeves, Crystal R.

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This thesis develops an interdisciplinary, theoretical framework for analyzing moments of legal pluralism in banishment cases in Samoa. In the first two chapters, select theoretical forms, discourses and practices from legal anthropology, comparative legal scholarship and law and society studies are critically analyzed. Chapter three examines the role of metaphors in theorizing legal pluralism and legal change in both comparative legal scholarship and law and society scholarship. In chapters four and five, elements that were critically analyzed in chapters one through three are drawn together and recombined to theorize legal pluralism in Samoa. As part of this recombination, I employ two metaphors to guide my analysis. Metaphor one, woven objects, is employed to represent select strands of legality existent in Samoa. Metaphor two, the weaving process, is used to analyze how people create moments of legal pluralism in Samoan banishment cases through the adoption of particular subjectivities, through articulation of legal information, and via relations of power.



legal polycentricity, Samoa, legal pluralism, banishment