Following the call to focus on law as a set of practices, I develop Michel Callon's concept of framing (which I refer to here as bracketing) in relation to law. Bracketing is the process of delimiting a sphere within which interactions take place more or less independently of a surrounding context. It temporarily rearranges the relations that constitute legal reality. A legal contract, for example, draws certain objects and relationships into sharper focus, ignoring or deliberately excluding others. I offer several examples of legal bracketing—some foundational, others highly routinized—and note several distinctive characteristics. I then use bracketing to think about legal categorization, law as effect (rather than essence), law's success, and the heterogeneity found within a legal frame.


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