This month’s piece of classic scholarship comes from the sociology of law. Thirty years ago, William L.F. Felstiner, Richard L. Abel, and Austin Sarat published a piece in the Law & Society Review titled "The Emergence and Transformation of Disputes: Naming, Blaming, Claiming …"
The authors wanted to trace how experiences transform into legal disputes. And they identified three key steps along the way:
- Naming — the party recognizes that she’s been injured, or, as the authors put it, recognizes an experience as injurious;
- blaming — she figures out that someone else is responsible for her