This review considers what can be learned from bridging sociolegal scholarship with contemporary research on health policy. Public health scholars have relied on a narrow understanding of the role law can play in health care reform, viewing law as a set of commands from above that direct the behavior of individuals. Incorporating a cultural perspective of law would allow public health scholars to observe law's effects in a much wider range of contexts. Meanwhile, the cultural turn in sociolegal studies toward an emphasis on law's role in the construction of everyday life has resulted in a shift away from the study of state policy altogether. As a consequence, the microlevel analyses that have come to dominate sociolegal scholarship are rarely connected to the macrolevel politics that shape them. Issues relating to health care offer sociolegal researchers an opportunity to reestablish a connection with social policy and extend their understanding of the power and meaning of law.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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