The paper (and thesis) should address one of the following two topics. An ideal of the law is equal or equitable access. And yet, people are advantaged or disadvantaged in front of the law because of wealth, race, ethnicity, migration status, gender, geography, and other social statuses. Discuss at least one way that these statuses lead to equal or unequal access to legal protections. Full obedience to the law may be an ideal, but it is not a reality. Discuss how people understand and experience obedience and/or law-breaking in some area of law and within some context or social milieu. This analysis should help you elaborate on one or more processes involved in adhering to or breaking the law that has been addressed in this section of the class readings. The essay should include the following. A discussion of how you build on the issues addressed in one or more of the research excerpts we have read for this course section (II). Refer to this research directly in the essay. Include citations in the text at the end of the sentence(s) where you paraphrase the work as (Author, year), or if you quote directly, cite as (author, year: page number). For example, you might say “Gustafson demonstrates that welfare recipients regularly break rules that they believe are legitimate. She shows also that they think of themselves as justified in violating these very same rules (Gustafson 2011)” The bulk of the paper should be devoted to defending your argument(s) with primary evidence from an interview that you conduct and record or from observation notes in a relevant setting. The document handed in should include: (1) 3-page single-spaced essay (2) Reference list (3) An appendix that is a full transcription of interview or observation notes. To protect confidentiality, use pseudonyms in the essay and observation notes or transcript.
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