roperty is a legally constructed, historically contingent, social fact. It is founded on economic and social imperatives to distribute and manage material resources – and, thus, wealth and power. As the preface to a legal textbook puts it, legal systems of property ‘confer benefits and impose burdens’ on owners and nonowners respectively. Law defines property. It circumscribes the conditions under which legal subjects may acquire, and properly use and dispose of their property and that of others. It makes concrete the ‘natural right’ of holding property. Different sets of rules create systems with varying allocations of power for owners and others. Some grants of property rights lock in, preserve and reinforce existing relations of race, class or gender, stratifying society and creating new, entrenched, propertied classes. Law makes property part of our socially constructed reality, reconfigurable if social needs change.
ooh this is quite nice, if very technical