This two day retreat aims to bring together doctoral students working on socio-legal projects involving an empirical element and will examine the methodological, practical and ethical issues involved in exploring law from the bottom up.  The focus will be on methods of data collection and analysis which emphasise lived experiences of law.  We will use the masterclasses to examine issues of agency and power in the relationship between the  researcher and their subject/object; different ways of knowing and seeing; the researcher as translator or interpreter; the hazards of field research and the difficulties of theorising up.

The Masterclasses are intended to provide students with the opportunity to spend time with experienced socio-legal scholars talking about the ways in which methodologies developed by other disciplines can be used to explore law and legal phenomena from the bottom up.  The sessions in the Masterclass will take the form of two different types of workshop, both of which are highly interactive and will be led by an established scholar in the field.  In the first type of workshop, an expert will talk about the empirical research they have conducted using a particular methodology or method.  They will be encouraged to talk about the stories behind the polished research outputs that have been produced as a result of their projects. Students will be set selected academic outputs of the workshop leaders to read in advance of the session in order to facilitate in-depth discussion. In the second type of workshop, students will be asked to flag up issues that they are facing in their own research for discussion by the group.

This event is designed for students working in the field of socio-legal studies in the second, third and fourth years of their PhD (or part time equivalent).  Generous support by a consortium of the Oxford and LSE ESRC Doctoral Training partnerships, the Journal of Law and Society, the Oxford Centre for Socio-Legal Studies and the Socio-legal Studies Association means that this event is free for ESRC funded students (except for travel) and that fifteen bursaries for everything but travel are also being made available.

Please note only those awarded bursaries or funded by the ESRC will be eligible to attend. If you are not ESRC funded then any places booked will be provisional until the award of a bursary is confirmed.

Further details          Registration          Programme (provisional)          Bursary Application Form



This event is being funded by:

The Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, Oxford,
London School of Economics,
The Oxford ESRC Doctoral Training Partnership,
The Journal of Law and Society,
The Socio-Legal Studies Association


Organising Committee

Linda Mulcahy, LSE; Marina Kurkchiyan, Oxford