Sociology Index

Sociology of Law Abstracts

Sociology of Law

The ecology of law - Arjen van Witteloostuijn, Durham Business School, University of Durham.
Abstract: This theoretical paper is a plea for grafting yet another branch onto the flourishing tree of what may be called the social sciences of law: an ecology of law. In a nutshell, ecology deals with the evolution of (populations of) physical and social entities, well-known examples being animals and organizations. In the current paper, the argument is that the application of ecology can further the understanding of the evolution of law. That is, the ecological apparatus offers a different lens for the study of the rise and fall of classes or populations of statutes. Of course, this apparatus must be adapted in order to fit with the idiosyncracies of the domain of law. This paper offers a first attempt to do precisely this. Particularly, the argument is that a merger of the ecology of rules with the demography of rule-makers is likely to produce a productive mixture for the development of an ecology of law.

Anachronism of the Moral Sentiments? Integrity, Post-Modernism, Justice - The relationship between post-modernism and justice. Apparent disjunction between post-modernists' moral and political intuitions on the one hand and their philosophical views and cultural leanings on the other. Crudely put, the essay asks what we can learn from the fact that someone who rejects the notion of "integrity" as either a psychological, moral or textual quality, nevertheless condemns the Dean or the Senator for having "no integrity," admires the display of principled consistency in public life or the interpretation of the Constitution, and would characterise the difference between, say, Nelson Mandela and Bill Clinton, as the difference between a principled ascetic who would endure jail or death for his beliefs and a pack of cut-out caricatures, reshuffled at every shift in public opinion, held together only by an expensive suit and a set of selfish appetites. - James Boyle.

Juror Sensitivity to the Cross-Race Effect - Jordan Abshire
Department of Psychology, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Brian H. Bornstein
Department of Psychology, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Nebraska.
Abstract: Black and White mock jurors' sensitivity to the cross-race effect was investigated by varying the race of the eyewitness in a simulated murder trial of a Black defendant. Participants heard an audiotape of a trial after which they rendered a verdict and rated the credibility of the witnesses. White participants found the prosecution witnesses (including the eyewitness) more credible, and the defense witness less credible, than did Black participants; they were also more likely to find the defendant guilty. The Black eyewitness was perceived as more credible than was the White eyewitness, but eyewitness race had no effect on verdict. These results are consistent with the literature indicating that jurors of different races reach different verdicts, and also that jurors are relatively insensitive to factors that affect eyewitness testimony, such as the cross-race effect. Article ID: 471150 - Law and Human Behavior.

EXPENDABLE CHILDREN: DEFINING BELONGING IN A BROKEN WORLD - THERESA GLENNON - INTRODUCTION - The American Law Institute has tackled one of the most deeply contentious and emotional areas of law in a remarkably logical and moderate manner. Family dissolution, especially when it involves a lengthy relationship or children, shatters the dreams and disrupts every aspect of the lives of those involved. -

THE MOUSE WHO WOULD RULE THE WORLD! HOW AMERICAN CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFLECTS THE THEMES OF DISNEYIZATION - Matthew B. Robinson - Appalachian State University - This paper specifies the relationships between the trend of Disneyization and the increasingly efficient, scientific, costly, and control-oriented systems of American criminal justice. Disneyization is the process by which the principles of the Disney theme parks are coming to dominate more and more sectors of American society as well as the rest of the world. It is related to the concurrent phenomenon of McDonaldization, which has been more widely written about and even applied to criminal justice. This paper discusses the trend of Disneyization and then illustrates how the main elements of Disneyization (theming, dedifferentiation of consumption, merchandising, and emotional labor) typify American criminal justice activity. Much of the paper is concerned with media coverage of crime and criminal justice, given the intimate relationship between it and criminal justice system processes.

EXOTIC DANCERS: GENDER DIFFERENCES IN SOCIETAL REACTION, SUBCULTURAL TIES, AND CONVENTIONAL SUPPORT - Old Dominion University - Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice - ABSTRACT - We explore the world of female and male exotic dancers. Utilizing Hirschi’s Bonding theory, we look at gender differences in societal reaction, subcultural ties, and conventional support among dancers in a large metropolitan area.

PRIME-TIME MURDER: PRESENTATIONS OF MURDER ON POPULAR TELEVISION JUSTICE PROGRAMS - Danielle M. Soulliere- University of Windsor - ABSTRACT - Entertainment television has long been fascinated with violence and murder. This paper examines presentations and explanations of murder in three popular prime-time television justice programs - NYPD Blue, Law and Order, and The Practice - and compares these mediated presentations with images presented by official statistics and established research findings. The findings suggest that murder is presented fairly accurately such that viewers should come away with a basic understanding of the nature and circumstances surrounding murder, although they are likely to be somewhat misled that violence is common. In addition, the explanations offered for the commission of murder are heavily individualistic, precluding an adequate sociological understanding of murder by ignoring important social factors.

Criminal `organisations' in Greece and public policy: from non-real to hyper-real?
Department of Sociology, Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences,
Abstract: The article gives an overview of the situation of criminal group activities in Greece, characterised as `organised' crime, during the last decade. It refers briefly to the political and socio-economical changes in its neighbouring Balkan countries, the subsequent movement of the populations and their impact on the country's crime rates, in the general context of the globalisation of crime. The study also refers to the main components of the public policy to confront these activities at a normative and practical level, as well as the impact they had on European and international commitments of Greece.

The labour inspection of Belgium, the United Kingdom and Sweden in a comparative perspective - Philippe De Baets
Abstract: This limited comparative study on labour inspection in Belgium, the United Kingdom and Sweden is dominated by a criminological approach. This is not an obvious point of view. Labour inspectorates tend to avoid criminal law and the criminal justice system to resolve occupational health and safety problems. The increasing international popularity of occupational health and safety management schemes at enterprise level coexists with the growing European awareness that labour inspectorates will have to come down hard on employers who breach legislation that protects workers. Quality of work has become a political priority again and it may affect future inspection efforts considerably. The final outcome remains unclear at the moment, but the functions of labour inspection have unmistakably been set in motion. Much attention is paid to the link between the institutional framework on the one hand and law enforcement strategies on the other.