“One can see that insiders are caught in the paradox of community: The
same cultural vocabulary that undermines community is simultaneously that
community's idiom of self-affirmation” (Greenhouse, et al. 175). In Law and
Community, David M. Engel explores how ordinary people in a small, rural,
Illinois town perceive the law, courts, litigants, and community. By analyzing
the legal practices and relations in Sander County, it is evident that law and
the courts play a central role in the processes of making and unmaking
communities. Furthermore, this study illustrates how such manifestations,
reflections of the “insider's” ideology, fail to live up to the promises for “
law” in our society.
In the 1970s, Sander County was undergoing great social and economic
changes. Agriculture, a central part of life for most residents, became more
mechanized and a few large manufacturing plants opened, bringing in “quite a
number of a certain element” Sander County had “never had before” (29). Long-
time residents, worried about change, express what they believe to be “the new
role of laws and the courts in the local and national society“ (1).
Though personal injury litigation rates are lower in Sander County than
other major types of litigation, a norm of aversion towards this legal discourse
is evident throughout the majority of the community. Those who enforce personal
injury claims are viewed by fellow residents as greedy, selfish, and “quick to
sue.” Litigation is portrayed as weakening the collective values personified in
the law as a means of turning the law against the community to make an “easy
buck” (144). Even highly respected members of the community are criticized for
making personal injury claims. For example, a minister filed a suit after
slipping and falling at a school. A local observer commented by saying there
are “a lot of people who are resentful for it, because...he chose to sue” (28).
The long-time residents of Sander County were experiencing a prevalent sense of
a collapse in the conventional dependencies and exchanges that had typified life
in Sander County. Understandings of personal injury claims are largely shaped
by these societal transformations as the local populace encounters them and also
by the notion that traditional relati...
... middle of paper ...
...ty (Carter 11).
The irony lies in the fact that the power of the insiders as a whole disempowers
the individual, whether the individual is an insider or an outsider. Every
member of Sander County is rather powerless before the law; the efforts to keep
the town safe from change paradoxically caused a lack of trust in the legal
process. This lack of trust contributes to the chaos of community that already
existed in Sander County.
“Law is a language by which we constantly reconstruct our communities”
(Carter viii). Instead of constructing community through just legal discourse,
Sander County destructed what it had left of a community in a desperate act of
warding of that which it did not understand (or did not want to understand).
Law in practice, in Sander County, does not produce justice; it produces
inequality. This prevalent inequality, or difference, is a “justification of
litigation by ‘insiders' in defense of their community” (Greenhouse, et al. 175).
They fail to see that their myth of community is challenging “community.”
Disempowerment and inequality will not generate trust. Furthermore, of what use,
or longevity, is a community without trust?
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- The structure of the american paradox is complex. The dreams set through decades upon decades of generations have consumed the americans way of living. this paradox and dream is what we have come to not just base our entire lives around but build are morals, standards, and expectations for overall existence. “Paradox and Dream “ isn't like Steinbecks normal pieces of literature. Steinbeck's “Paradox and Dreams” is a sarcastic and criticism filled outlook on the self made paradox created by americans and based on their way of living.... [tags: American Paradox and Dreams]
1178 words (3.4 pages)
- Palmer’s third chapter speaks about paradox in teaching and learning. He describes paradox, overall, as the inner tension experienced in the heart of every teacher, competing and pulling between laughter and pain, joy and sadness, engagement and apathy. He embraces the soul of the strongly : “teaching...can only be expressed as paradoxes”. Push them yet coddle them, inspire them yet give them thinking time, challenge them yet celebrate their established riches. Parker’s description brings into light the true tension in the hearts of teachers, balancing forces of emotion, identity, intellect, and truth.... [tags: Literary Analysis]
683 words (2 pages)
- Palmer’s third chapter speaks about paradox in teaching and learning. He describes paradox, overall, as the inner tension experienced in the heart of every teacher, competing and pulling between laughter and pain, joy and sadness, engagement and apathy. He embraces the soul of the teacher pungently: “teaching...can only be expressed as paradoxes”. Push them yet coddle them, inspire them yet give them thinking time, challenge them yet celebrate their established riches. Parker’s description brings into light the true tension in the hearts of teachers, balancing forces of emotion, identity, intellect, and truth.... [tags: Education]
1097 words (3.1 pages)
- Humans live in a world in which every day they encounter numerous choices. The way they decide and the outcomes of their decisions define their lives. Their day to day life essentially revolves around the choices they make. As a whole, a community benefits or suffers from the outcomes of its choices. Freedom of choice is the grant to an individual or community to make its own choices out of free will and without restrictions (Pereboom,2003). This is essay will discuss that though freedom choice leads to variety in life, it does not necessarily guarantee satisfaction.... [tags: Political Science]
1711 words (4.9 pages)
- In his essay “The American Paradox”, Michael Pollan illustrates his conclusion that Americans who focus on nutrition have a higher probability of decreasing their well-being. Pollan defines the American paradox as “a notably unhealthy population preoccupied with nutrition and the idea of eating healthily.” For most of our human history, our parents and culture have influenced our diet. However, today the idea of what to eat has been based on the opinions of scientists, food markets, and nutritionists.... [tags: Nutrition, Health, Junk food, Human]
785 words (2.2 pages)
- ARTICLE AUTHOR, TITLE AND SOURCE: Fiske, Jo-Anne. "Gender and the Paradox of Residential Education in Carrier Society." in Christine Miller and Patricia Chuchryk, Women of the First Nations: Power, Wisdom, Strength. Winnipeg: U of Manitoba, 1996. 167-82. Topic: Jo-Anne Fiske’s article explores the paradoxical consequences of residential education on the women of the Carrier society in central British Columbia. Her chapter focuses on contradictory outcomes of formal colonial schooling by analyzing the significance of residential schooling for Carrier women who attended the Lejac Residential School between 1922 and 1984.... [tags: Education, Teacher, School]
1366 words (3.9 pages)
- The Paradox of Perfection In 1980, Arlene Skolnick’s “The Paradox of Perfection” was published in Wilson Quarterly around the time when the “ideal family” was highly regarded. The article expresses the idea that the perfect family dose not exist. This essay is a prime example of how society views on what a family should be, subconsciously affects the behavior and attitude of the average family. As a psychologist from University of California, Skolnick presents her views through a series of historical contexts and statistics.... [tags: Free Essay Writer]
992 words (2.8 pages)
- Kiergard, Faith, and Community What is faith. What is Christian Community. How does the work of 19th-century philosopher Soren Kierkegaard play into these packed topics . Even though many see Kierkegaard as a critic of Christianity his piece “fear and trembling” provides us with deep insight as to what the calling of faith is for the individual. As for community, Kierkegaard does not directly speak to the topic and its relationship to faith. For some, community means Sunday morning services, for others it can be a deeper calling to live in close relation with those who share a Christian identity.... [tags: Jesus, Christianity, Søren Kierkegaard]
1000 words (2.9 pages)
- The Free Will/Determinism Paradox Most of us humans, I would guess, prefer to think we have free will. That is, we prefer to think we are able to make choices or decisions based upon our own unique volitions. Such thought appeals to our vanities. If we make “good” choices and decisions, our self-esteem is elevated, and this gives us pleasure. On the other hand, most of our knowledge leads us in the direction of believing the universe’s functions are deterministic. That is, our knowledge tells us that choice is not necessary to our description of the universe.... [tags: Free will Decisions Determinism Essays]
1268 words (3.6 pages)
- The Paradox of Heroism in Homer’s Iliad The Iliad presents a full range of valorous warriors: the Achaians Diomedes, Odysseus, and the Aiantes; the Trojans Sarpedon, Aeneas, and Glaukos. These and many others are Homer’s models of virtue in arms. Excelling all of them, however, are the epic’s two central characters, Achilleus, the son of Peleus and, Hector, the son of Priam. In these two, one finds the physical strength, intense determination, and strenuous drive that give them first place within their respective armies.... [tags: Iliad essays]
1960 words (5.6 pages)