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  • Neo-tribal Sociality in the Upper Echelons of the Legal Profession: Issues of Race

    Anna Chronopoulou

    Chapter from the book: Whyte, A et al. 2024. The Long Walk to Equality: Perspectives on Racial Inequality, Injustice and the Law.


    This chapter examines how the Maffesolian theory of neo-tribal sociality challenges race as one of the main characteristics of legal professional identity. It investigates the commodification of ‘race’ as a component of professional identity construction attesting to exclusionary practices. Academic accounts perceive ‘race’ either as an issue of discrimination or even of diversity, therefore, inclusion. This chapter examines ‘race’ from a different perspective. It perceives ‘race’ as an element of neo-tribalism especially in the upper echelons of the legal profession in England and Wales. The use of the notion of neo-tribal sociality in the study of the legal profession resurfaces hidden aspects of legal professional identity, which could potentially amount to a renegotiation of ‘race’ as a commodity. From this perspective, this chapter reveals aspects of a new kind of legal professional identity suggestive of elements of neo-tribalism. These claims are supported by a thorough examination of a small sample of older and more recent advertising material of some sets of Chambers and some large corporate law firms in England.

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    How to cite this chapter
    Chronopoulou, A. 2024. Neo-tribal Sociality in the Upper Echelons of the Legal Profession: Issues of Race. In: Whyte, A et al (eds.), The Long Walk to Equality. London: University of Westminster Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.16997/book63.d

    This chapter distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution + Noncommercial + NoDerivatives 4.0 license. Copyright is retained by the author(s)

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    Published on Feb. 20, 2024