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The Price of Positionality

Black and white chess pieces on a chessboard.

Episode Description

In this episode of Talking about Methods, Professor Linda Mulcahy talks to Professor Mark Fathi Massoud (University of California, Santa Cruz) about positionality in Socio-Legal research.

Readings Recommended by Professor Mark Massoud

Gustafson, K. S. (2011). Cheating Welfare: Public Assistance and the Criminalization of Poverty (New York University Press).

Hirsch, S. F. (2008) In the Moment of Greatest Calamity: Terrorism, Grief, and a Victim’s Quest for Justice (Princeton University Press).

Halliday, S. & Schmidt, P. (2009) Conducting Law and Society Research: Reflections on Methods and Practices (Cambridge University Press).

Massoud, M. F. (2022). The price of positionality: assessing the benefits and burdens of self-identification in research methods. 49(S1) Journal of Law and Society S64.

About the Speaker

A photo of Professor Mark Massoud

Professor Mark Fathi Massoud

Director of Legal Studies, University of California, Santa Cruz

Mark Fathi Massoud is Professor of Politics and Legal Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He is the author of two books: Shari‘a, Inshallah: Finding God in Somali Legal Politics (Cambridge University Press, 2021) and Law’s Fragile State: Colonial, Authoritarian, and Humanitarian Legacies in Sudan (Cambridge University Press, 2013). He has held Carnegie, Guggenheim, and Mellon Foundation Fellowships and visiting fellowships at the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, Princeton University, and Stanford University. Professor Massoud will give the Evans-Pritchard Lectures at All Souls College, Oxford, during Trinity Term 2022.

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