Legal and Binding: time, change and long term transactions

Alexander, Catherine M.. 2001. Legal and Binding: time, change and long term transactions. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 7(3), pp. 467-485. ISSN 13590987 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

This article explores the question of how long-term transactional agreements endure when the environment in which they exist is necessarily subject to change. Different models of connection are examined, including the classical model of freedom of contract. It appears that contracts in practice do not substantiate ideas of free choice and equal bargaining power. Instead, the symbolic power of contracts, as a means of conjoining parties and opening an arena of negotiation, inheres in many supporting structures (trust, the ritualization of legal language) but particularly in the materiality of the document itself.

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Date Deposited:

12 Mar 2009 15:41

Last Modified:

22 Apr 2016 16:56

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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