sociology of law

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sociology of law

the sociological study of the social context, development and operation of law: the system of rules and sanctions, the specialist institutions and specialist personnel, and the several types of law (e.g. constitutional, civil, criminal) which constitute the legal system in complex societies.

In the development of this area of study the works of DURKHEIM and WEBER have been important as in other areas of sociology, but the development of the sociology of law is complicated by academic approaches overlapping with sociology, notably JURISPRUDENCE and, later, the development of sociolegal studies. The latter now exists as a strand of social science thinking and research (including psychology and economic analysis as well as inputs from sociology) and stands in critical relation with traditional orthodoxies in legal theory. CRIMINOLOGY and the wider study of DEVIANCE are further related areas of specialist study.

In the sociology of law and in sociolegal studies, utilitarian, individualistic and positivist views have been challenged by an interest in exploring the complexities of morality and mechanisms of social control. From Durkheim came the emphasis on the formal expression of what is pre-eminently social, viz, morality. This was explored in his discussion of the shift from MECHANICAL to ORGANIC SOLIDARITY, which included the distinction between ‘repressive’ and ‘restitutive’ law. From Weber's work has come an emphasis on the role of the development of rational and calculable law – legal rationalism – as a precondition for modern political developments and for capitalism. MARX's work, although less concerned with the detailed study of legal forms, has also influenced the study of law in a number of ways, ranging from studies of the role of class interests in the content of law, to debates about the overall form of’bourgeois’ legality – an interest inspired by the rediscovery of the work of Evgeny Pashukanis (1891-1937).

As well as such general theoretical bases, lower level empirical studies of the operation of legal institutions have been increasingly important, especially studies of the working of the CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM, including the operation of courts, police, etc., and PENOLOGY. See also NATURAL RIGHTS AND NATURAL LAW, COMMON LAW, ROMAN LAW.

References in periodicals archive ?
Its development of a new methodology begins from a combination of micro and macro perspectives, And a synthesis of approaches drawn from economic sociology, Political economy and the sociology of law.
The 14 essays were first presented at an international workshop on the sociology of law in O[+ or -]ati, Spain during 2014.
The philosopher Turner (2008:237) opines that since all of Black's theoretical claims are false, "any discussion of Black's sociology of law and of his project of a pure sociology should end" right there rather than perpetuate a "fog of confusion.
Samuels received a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology of Law, Deviance and Criminology from the University of Michigan and a Juris Doctorate with a Certificate of Real Estate Law from Brooklyn Law School.
The American version of sociological jurisprudence, primarily constructed/modified by Roscoe Pound, and called sociology of law (Charlesworth, 2007; Deflem, 2008; Salter and Mason, 2007), revolted against doctrinal conservatism due to its rigid preoccupations with technicalities(Vick, The Critical Jurisprudence could be considered closest to sociology of Law in the UK context, 2004).
the difference between legal philosophy and sociology of law.
Indeed, Richard's erudition in this treatise is extraordinary, ranging from philosophy to the sociology of law to criminology.
Sociology of law studies the relationship between law and society as how law affects society and vice versa.
Justice means locating a prudent balance between these competing requirements-in the words of a theorist in the sociology of law, a "mid-point between normative positions and values.
This volume was produced to serve as text for one-semester, undergraduate-level courses on law and society or the sociology of law.
During Thursday's discussion, Ivo Hrisov, Associate Professor in Sociology of Law, suggested that the existing public procurement legal framework only made procedures more cumbersome and resulted in regular violations.
English was the mother tongue of my training in sociology with a specific focus on sociology of law.