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Revista de Sociologia e Política

On-line version ISSN 1678-9873


AZEVEDO, Rodrigo Ghiringhelli de. The force of law and the violence of juridical forms. Rev. Sociol. Polit. [online]. 2011, vol.19, n.40, pp.27-41. ISSN 1678-9873.

In the present article, we proceed from a discussion of Pierre Bourdieu's structural constructivism to an approach to the juridical field, as distinguishable from the judicial field, in consonance with Bourdieu's own proposal. The judicial field can be understood as a sub-field within the juridical field and as an institution providing professional monopoly over the production and commercialization of juridical services, in virtue of juridical and social competence or of a specific enabling power regarding the constitution of the juridical-judicial object. This signifies the ability to transform a social reality (a grievance, conflict or dispute) into a judicial-juridical reality. We then go on to analyze the different interpretive currents on the workings of institutional mechanisms of conflict management in Brazil, keeping in mind the existence of distinct logics for state management of conflicts, or intensity of interaction, that correspond to hierarchies of ritual, people and types of conflict. Our argument proceeds as follows: interpreting Law through the concepts and authors used here, recognizing the strength and violence of juridical forms, as well as their historical use as mechanisms for producing and reproducing hierarchies and social inequalities and admitting that the institutions of justice are always vulnerable to their subversion by those who hold political economic power, we see that when social demands become juridical ones there is always a possibility that the need for their legal justification reduces their discretionary space.

Keywords : judicial field; institutional management of conflicts; symbolic violence.

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