Trade Union Legal Mobilisation and Consciousness

Eleanor Kirk*, Katie A Cruz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review


Ewick’s and Silbey’s recent auto-critique invited legal consciousness scholars to develop their analyses of legal hegemony in the context of collective sites of legality construction and the contestation of the hegemony of state law. Trade unions provide a particularly apposite group and institutional site to study such processes. From a Marxist perspective, recent labour law scholarship has argued that union engagement with law reproduces liberal legal hegemony by depoliticising domination and disciplining the individual and collective consciousness of workers and unions. First, we argue that critical legal consciousness research (cLCR) can nuance this Marxist perspective via its insights about polyvocality and legal pluralism. Second, we argue that cLCR relating to the relationship between counter-hegemonic projects and hegemony could be enriched by elements of the Marxist critique of labour law, albeit one that is committed to viewing theory as productive of hypotheses, rather than certainties, that should always be empirically investigated.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Law and Society
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 9 Apr 2024


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