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Tradition of the Law and Law of the Tradition: Law, State, and Social Control in China (review)

Tradition of the Law and Law of the Tradition: Law, State, and Social Control in China (review) Features 327 Xin Ren. Tradition ofthe Law and Law ofthe Tradition: Law, State, and Social Control in China. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1997. xviii, 174 pp. isbn 0-313-29096-2. In an insightful journal article, Professor Janet E. Ainsworth shared a meditation on a brief passage from the writings of Xunzi: "[T]he wise man is careful to . . . regulate names so that they will apply correcüy to the realities they designate. In this way he . . . discriminates properly between things that are the same and those that are different."1 Her article makes a thoughtful proposal concerning the often noted difficulty for the comparative legal scholar in transcending appropriately his or her own Western cultural framework to draw valid conclusions about the legal culture of any non-Western society.2 Focusing on the importance of avoiding inappropriate and misleading Western legal terminology in the comparative study of law, Ainsworth recommends a methodology borrowed from linguists and anthropologists--the ernie or internal approach to cultural studies.3 Recognizing that one must begin with etic or universal categories, her proposal emphasizes that the ultimate point at which one hopes to arrive is the supplanting of these categories with "ernie interpretive constructs that better http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png China Review International University of Hawai'I Press

Tradition of the Law and Law of the Tradition: Law, State, and Social Control in China (review)

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University of Hawai'I Press
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Copyright © University of Hawai'I Press
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1527-9367
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Abstract

Features 327 Xin Ren. Tradition ofthe Law and Law ofthe Tradition: Law, State, and Social Control in China. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1997. xviii, 174 pp. isbn 0-313-29096-2. In an insightful journal article, Professor Janet E. Ainsworth shared a meditation on a brief passage from the writings of Xunzi: "[T]he wise man is careful to . . . regulate names so that they will apply correcüy to the realities they designate. In this way he . . . discriminates properly between things that are the same and those that are different."1 Her article makes a thoughtful proposal concerning the often noted difficulty for the comparative legal scholar in transcending appropriately his or her own Western cultural framework to draw valid conclusions about the legal culture of any non-Western society.2 Focusing on the importance of avoiding inappropriate and misleading Western legal terminology in the comparative study of law, Ainsworth recommends a methodology borrowed from linguists and anthropologists--the ernie or internal approach to cultural studies.3 Recognizing that one must begin with etic or universal categories, her proposal emphasizes that the ultimate point at which one hopes to arrive is the supplanting of these categories with "ernie interpretive constructs that better

Journal

China Review InternationalUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Mar 30, 1998

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