The Struggle for Control

A Study of Law, Disputes, and Deviance

By Pat Lauderdale & Michael Cruit

Subjects: Criminology
Series: SUNY series in Deviance and Social Control
Paperback : 9780791413128, 256 pages, March 1993
Hardcover : 9780791413111, 256 pages, March 1993

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Table of contents




1. The Scope


Disputes, Law, and Deviance

The Setting

Social Relationships and Disputing

Rationalization and Access to Dispute Forums



The Politics of Dispute Management in Costa Rica: An Introduction to the Case

2. The Disputing Process

Case 1 - Resident or Squatter?

Case 2 - The Colorado Camp

Case 3 - The House Without a Home

Case 4 - Denouncing the Campesino

Case 5 - The Fruit of the Land

Case 6 - The Sierpe Gift

Case 7 - The Absentee Landlord and the Local

Case 8 - The Inspection

Case 9 - The Rainy Season

3. An Analysis of Dispute Management: The Absence of Resolution

The Nature of the Social Relationship



Social Context and Social Relationships

Access and Social Context

Time and Social Context

Cost and Social Context

4. Conflict and the Struggle for Control

Cultural Dimensions


Milla Maritima

Private/Productive Property

Nonviolent Disputing

Encompassing Issues

Modes of Dispute Management

Social Control and Deviance

Epilogue: Justice and Social Control

Appendix A: Agrarian Reform in Central America


Rationalization and Land Reform

The World-Polity Perspective

Land Tenure and Reform

The Incorporation of Central America

The Commodification of Land

World System Impact


Appendix B: The Rationalization of Law in Costa Rica


Rationalization of the Law in Costa Rica

Increased Rationalization

Section I: Agrarian Reform in Costa Rica



Subject Index

Author Index


This book offers a study of deviance and dispute management in a comparative perspective. Conventional wisdom and professional knowledge assume a clear line between the study of disputes and deviance. The authors provide the basic steps for integrating the study of disputes with research on the sociology of law and deviance. They examine the conditions crucial to dispute analysis: the nature of social and political relationships, informal and formal social control, cost, time, and access to dispute forums.

Pat Lauderdale is Professor of Justice and Adjunct Professor of Law at Arizona State University. Michael Cruit is Acting Director of Herbert Blumer Institute, Costa Rica.


"A brilliant synthesis of sensitive and insightful case studies and the development of hypotheses and a multi-level model of 'dispute management.' It is this difficult combination that makes this work a distinctive and powerful contribution to this relatively unexplored , yet increasingly important, domain of research." — Ray Corrado, Criminology, Simon Fraser University

"This study is a gold mine of insights, revelations, and critical reflections on the inter-connectedness of social psychological, social, cultural, economic, political, demographic, and geographic factors. It penetrates, unpacks, and reveals the inter-connectedness of both important micro-level and macro-level social, economic, and political structure."— Richard L. Harris, Harvard University