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Law and AnthropologyCurrent Legal Issues Volume 12$
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Michael Freeman and David Napier

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199580910

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199580910.001.0001

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The Role of Social Representations in the Production and Application of the Law: A Case Study of Property Law in Senegal

The Role of Social Representations in the Production and Application of the Law: A Case Study of Property Law in Senegal

Chapter:
(p.292) 12 The Role of Social Representations in the Production and Application of the Law: A Case Study of Property Law in Senegal
Source:
Law and Anthropology
Author(s):

Caroline Plançon

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199580910.003.0012

This chapter examines property law in Senegal. It begins by presenting some of the conceptual specificities used in the study. It then analyzes different concrete examples in both rural and urban settings in order to arrive at a better understanding of the situation in Senegal. The cases study on the process of land registration and soil management by independent State authorities provides a better understanding of how legal practices that were initially foreign to the Senegalese inhabitants became steadily incorporated, after some modification, into local practices. The registration process is especially revelatory because it is a vehicle for a representation of land use that differs from the native traditional conception, and yet this process has been re-appropriated by inhabitants who see in it a means by which a more secure law can be obtained. The dominant attitude of acculturation and the blending together of legal practices are also apparent in the spatial organization of urban areas.

Keywords:   Senegal, property law, land tenure, Senegalese legal culture, land registration

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