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The Politics of Product Design and Safety Law in the United States

"A landmark work in the cultural study of American law and social inequality--creatively conceived, richly researched, and provocatively written."

- Elizabeth Povinelli, Columbia University

"...Injury is a first-rate work of critique."

--Jake Kosek, American Studies

Paperback & Ebook


Princeton University Press

Injury  approaches injury law as a symptom of a larger American injury culture, rather than as a tool of social justice or as a form of regulation. In doing so, it offers a new understanding of the problematic role that law plays in constructing Americans' relations with the objects they consume.

Reviews of Injury


"This is a remarkable book on every level. Injury not only serves cultural studies of law, but would benefit scholars and practitioners of tort law."

--Bradley Bryan, Law, Culture and the Humanities



"With the provocative use of real-world examples, Injury is a first-rate work of critique. It should be on the reading list of anyone interested in the civil justice system . . . regardless of their position on the issues."

--Stephen Daniels, Law and Society Review



"In her astonishingly incisive book, Injury, S. Lochlann Jain brushes aside a century of jaded debates on what should count as injury for legal compensation. . . . Injury is perhaps the most important anthropological work on law and human wounding."

--Aneesh Aneesh, Political and Legal Anthropology Review



"Anthropologist Lochlann Jain's book . . . Is a provocative, sophisticated, and ambitious analysis of the cultural logic of contemporary US product injury law and what Jain terms 'American injury culture.'

--William T. Gallagher, Law & Politics Book Review



"I recommend Injury to lawyers who want to gain deeper insight into why we sometimes expect to receive a favorable result for our clients under the existing body of law, yet we lose the case on what seems to be an unjust application of that law to our clients' facts."

--James McLaughlin, Trial Magazine



"...scholars will find an exciting and significant contribution to the field, and one that is beautifully written and perspicaciously argued."

--Jake Kosek, American Studies



"With the sparkle of deep insight found in Injury, scholars interested in questions of violence, political economy, law, and technoscience will find much to appreciate. It is an innovative and astute work, as well as an impressive feat of interdisciplinary scholarship."

--Michelle Murphy, American Anthropologist



"Personal injury lawsuits and the complex body of legal doctrines that shape them are rarely discussed outside of courts and law schools ... This is unfortunate, because as Jain documents in this haunting and accessible study, injury law is not only a back door to regulating the economy, it is also a kind of cultural unconscious; a place guarded by legal fictions, where American society goes to imagine the nature of injury, draw the boundaries of the self, and assign the burdens of our risky ambitions."

--Jonathan Simon, University of California, Berkeley



"A landmark work in the cultural study of American law and social inequality--creatively conceived, richly researched, and provocatively written."

--Elizabeth Povinelli, Columbia University



"This is anthropology at its best, intervening in social problems that are hotly debated at various levels in society. It shows how the dynamics of injury law unfold at much deeper discursive and structural levels than cultural critics normally allow."

--Michael M. J. Fischer, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Injury is available in paperback & ebook from  Amazon   &  Princeton University Press
Lochlann Jain
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