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89 Calif. L. Rev. 643 (2001)
Beyond the Enforcement Principle: Sodomy Laws, Social Norms, and Social Panoptics

handle is hein.journals/calr89 and id is 653 raw text is: Beyond the Enforcement Principle:
Sodomy Laws, Social Norms, and
Social Panoptics
Ryan Goodmant
Social norms scholarship offers various conceptual models for under-
standing law's capacity to produce or inhibit particular behaviors. The
current literature, however, has inadequately attended to either testing
these theories through empirical research or studying law's ancillary
effects on social structure and individuals' lives. In response, this Article
undertakes an empirical study of the social effects of an unenforced crimi-
nal law: sodomy statutes. The Article examines the constitutive impact
these laws have on individual identity, social relations, and conceptions of
public space. This aspect of the study is based on ethnographic research
conducted in South Africa before and after the country's sodomy laws were
abolished. The findings of this inquiry provide the empirical basis for de-
velopment of a conceptual model for understanding the process by which
laws intersect with informal social surveillance to produce a regime in
which lesbians and gays are ultimately encouraged to discipline them-
selves. In developing this framework the Article calls for integrating these
understandings of micro-level social relations into a macro-sociological
perspective on the regulatory effects of law. The Article thus examines the
influence exerted by the criminalization of homosexuality on other institu-
tional discourses (such as religion and medicine). These connections are
Copyright © 2001 California Law Review, Inc. California Law Reviw, Inc. (CLR) is a California
nonprofit corporation. CLR and the authors are solely responsible for the content of their publications.
t   Bigelow Fellow and Lecturer in Law, University of Chicago Law School. J.D., 1999, Yale
Law School; M.Phil., 1999, Sociology, Yale University; Ph.D. expected May 2001, Yale University. I
wish to thank the following people for their generous advice and comments on previous drafts: Nico
Besnier, Donald Braman, Edwin Cameron, Mary Anne Case, Michele Dillon, Owen Fiss, Joshua
Gamson, Jack Goldsmith, Robert Gordon, Jonathan R. Nash, Eric Posner, William Rubenstein, Austin
Sarat, Cass Sunstein, Ruti Teitel, Beth Van Schaack, Stanton Wheeler, James Whitman, Eric Worby,
and Kenji Yoshino. I am also grateful for the financial and logistical support I received from the Camps
Research Fund of Yale University; the Schell Center for Human Rights of Yale Law School; the Fund
for Lesbian and Gay Studies; the Center for Applied Legal Studies, Johannesburg, South Africa; and
the staff of the University of Chicago D'Angelo Law Library. I owe special thanks to Derek Jinks,
without whose insights and generosity this Article would not have been possible. All errors are,
however, my own.


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