Abstract/Details

Constitutional law and ideology: The mechanism component of ideological critique


2002 2002

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Abstract (summary)

Put simply, the purpose of this thesis is to ask and answer the following question: does legal ideology, as evinced by the creation of legal meanings in recent Canadian and South African constitutional jurisprudence, reinforcerelations of domination and if so how? Samples of recent Canadian and South African jurisprudence are examined to determine whether their creation of legal meanings sustain patterns of social inequality. This paper has chosen to examine legal ideology as it is important to determine not only whether law creates meaning through legal discourse, but whether this discourse plays a role in the production or reproduction of social relations. In order to answer its question, the thesis employs John B. Thompson's ‘depth hermeneutical’ procedure, as it pays particular attention to the act of interpreting ideology. This procedure consists of three phases: (i) social analysis; (ii) discursive analysis and (iii) interpretation. The ‘social analysis’ phase outlines the social conditions and backdrop underlying the adjudication of Canadian and South African constitutional jurisprudence. The ‘discursive analysis’ examines whether ideological modes [i.e. legitimation, dissimulation, unification, reification and naturalization] and ideological strategies [such as inversion, displacement and performative contradiction] can be seen to reinforce the relations of domination depicted in phase one. The final phase demonstrates how legal meanings serve to sustain relations of domination. This thesis concludes that legal ideology in Canadian and South African constitutional jurisprudence reinforces relations of domination through the operation of various ideological modes and discursive strategies. As this thesis and its conclusion in effect delineate the “mechanism” component of ideology inquiry or critique i.e. identifying how ideology operates, it admittedly leaves open and unanswered the important question of ideology's genesis i.e. why ideology exists.

Indexing (details)


Subject
Law
Classification
0398: Law
Identifier / keyword
Social sciences; Canada; South Africa
Title
Constitutional law and ideology: The mechanism component of ideological critique
Author
Kumar, Vidya S. A.
Number of pages
168
Publication year
2002
Degree date
2002
School code
0267
Source
MAI 41/04M, Masters Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
ISBN
9780612753976, 0612753972
Advisor
Arthurs, H. W.
University/institution
York University (Canada)
University location
Canada
Degree
LL.M.
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Language
English
Document type
Dissertation/Thesis
Dissertation/thesis number
MQ75397
ProQuest document ID
305484880
Copyright
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
http://search.proquest.com/docview/305484880
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