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Governing by Proximity: On distance and proximity in the criminal trial
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Culture and Aesthetics.
2017 (English)In: Performance Research, ISSN 1352-8165, E-ISSN 1469-9990, Vol. 22, no 3, 42-48 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article explores the inherent tension between techniques of distance and proximity in legal practice. Laying bare the interplay between spatial, social and representational distance and proximity, the article clarifies the politics of the trial and the various kinds of subjectivation that take place in the courtroom. Drawing on the writings of Bourdieu and Foucault, legal practice is seen as making use of a range of power techniques. Law is not only using distancing mechanisms, turning humans into de-personed legal subjects, but it also uses personalizing techniques, investigating both the crime and the criminal and striving for social proximity. In conclusion, the trial comes forth as a ‘therapeutized’ event focused on governing and transforming the subjects, rather than merely judging them. The material consists of observations and experiences made during a field study at the lower level courts of Stockholm, Sweden. In addition, perspectives from anthropological and sociological literature are used to highlight the structural and symbolic dimensions of law.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 22, no 3, 42-48 p.
Keyword [en]
Law, performance, proximity, legal space, Foucault, subjectivity
National Category
Performing Art Studies
Research subject
Theatre Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-147311DOI: 10.1080/13528165.2017.1348593OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-147311DiVA: diva2:1143557
Available from: 2017-09-21 Created: 2017-09-21 Last updated: 2017-09-27Bibliographically approved

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