Show Notes: Playing by the Rules in Our Everyday Lives

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Though much divides us these days, there are still some things we all share in common. One of them is law. In “Common Law,” a podcast sponsored by the University of Virginia School of Law, Dean Risa Goluboff and UVA Law professors Danielle K. Citron, John C. Harrison, Cathy Hwang and Gregory Mitchell explore how law shapes society, how we shape law and why we should all care. MORE

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Risa Goluboff, Greg Mitchell and Susan Silbey
S5 E7: Playing by the Rules in Our Everyday Lives

What makes people and organizations obey — or resist — the law? Social scientist Susan S. Silbey, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, discusses her life’s work on the subject.

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Show Notes: Playing by the Rules in Our Everyday Lives

Susan S. Silbey

Susan S. Silbey holds the Leon and Anne Goldberg Chair in Humanities, Anthropology and Sociology, and is Professor of Behavioral and Policy Sciences in the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she teaches in the programs in Work and Organizational Studies and Economic Sociology. From 2017-19, she served as chair of the MIT faculty.

Silbey is interested in the governance, regulatory and audit processes in complex organizations. Her current research focuses on the creation of management systems for containing risks, including ethical lapses, as well as environment, health and safety hazards. In addition, for 15 years, she has been part of a team following a national panel of engineers from college to the workplace.

Her award winning articles and books include “Why do biologists and chemists do safety differently? The Reproduction of Cultural Variation through Pragmatic Regulation” (2021); “Accountability Infrastructures: Pragmatic Regulation Inside Organizations” (2021); “I’m Not A Feminist, But… The Hegemony of a Meritocratic Ideology and The Limits of Critique Among Women in Engineering” (2018); “Subversive Stories and Hegemonic Tales: Toward A Sociology of Narrative” (1995); “Narrating Social Structure: Stories of Resistance to Legal Authority” (2003); “Governing the Gap: Forging Safe Science Through Relational Regulation” (2011); and the book The Common Place of Law: Stories From Everyday Life” (1998). Other books include “In Litigation: Do the Haves Still Come Out Ahead” (2003); “Law and Science (I): Epistemological, Evidentiary and Relational Engagements” (2008), and “Law and Science (II): Regulation of Property, Practices and Products” (2008).

Silbey is the recipient of numerous prizes and awards, including the James R. Killian Jr. Faculty Achievement Award, (2019-20); Institut des Etudes Avancees, Paris; Russell Sage Foundation (2014-15); Stanton Wheeler Prize for Mentoring (2015); John Simon Guggenheim Foundation (2009); Doctor Honoris Causa from Ecole Normale Superiere Cachan in Paris (2006); and the Harry Kalven Jr. Prize for advancing the sociology of law (2009). She is past president of the Law & Society Associationand a fellow of the American Academy of Political and Social Science.

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