This essay is an exploration in the domain of legal culture, or, in other words, an exploration of those social ideas and concepts that shape and underpin the law.' Specifically, it is about the concept of the individual, or the self, and how this concept makes its mark on the legal order. The basic theme of this essay can be wrapped up in one small package: society, and law, has moved in the direction of expressive individualism over the last century or so, especially in the last few decades. Whatever the sources of this change "outside" the legal system, its consequences "inside" have been comprehensive and profound. They have been felt in every field of law, from child custody through tort law, civil rights, and civil liberties.


The Forty-Fifth Cleveland-Marshall Fund Lecture