Sociology Index

Sociology of Law

Sociology of law engages in study of the legal system and its ramifications. Sociology of law both an interdisciplinary approach and duel approach in analysing and understanding the relationship between law and society. Sociology of law looks at the theory and policy which support the present system of law. In a society of Individuals faced with an excess of possibilities, the criteria for the selection of such laws was the enhancement of norms congruency. Niklas Luhmann's sociology of law was a description of the emergence of legal structures as the development of congruent reactions to the disappointment of norm expectations. Jurgen Habermas refers to a duality in modern sociology of law, that is, the duality of tension between facts and norms. The relationship between law and society was sociologically explored in the works of both Max Weber and David Emile Durkheim. The writings on law by these classical sociologists are foundational to the entire sociology of law today.

The norms Jurgen Habermas refers to are our expectations about the validity and legitimacy of the law. Validity affects our expectations of fairness, justice, right. Jurgen Habermas criticizes Immanuel Kant's dependence on morality because of the pluralism of the modern democratic society. Habermas claims there is no more overriding morality, values, sacred belief to provide social integration, because there are other moralities, values, sacred beliefs in the challenge of pluralism. Habermas' mechanism for resolving the tension, and thus providing legitimacy and social integration, is the commitment of all individuals in good faith to the discourse of the community as a whole. Habermas believes that rational argument of citizens can replace the morality lost to pluralism. Habermas doesn't mean an ordinary committee debate over coming to terms on norms. He means the transcendent language of a community willing to negotiate validity claims and committed to abiding by the community consensus.

It has been said that respect for the law, in a democracy, has derived from the fact that the law expressed the will of the citizens. But how could this hold good for the minority group? - David Emile Durkheim.

The notion of social justice per se will not be fixed or static or certain; rather, it will be a more dynamic expression of events and actors subject to the social, economic, and political forces that shape ideas and issues pertaining to law, crime, and deviant behavior. - Arrigo.

Sociology of Law Abstracts

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 sociology of law: an ecology of law. Ecology deals with the evolution 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. 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 postmodernism 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.

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 and Ebayization, 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.

EXOTIC DANCERS: GENDER DIFFERENCES IN SOCIETAL REACTION, SUBCULTURAL TIES, AND CONVENTIONAL SUPPORT - Old Dominion University - Department of Sociology of law 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.

Sociology of Law Journals

The International Journal of the Sociology of Law is an interdisciplinary forum for high quality research and debate on social context and social implications of law, law-enforcement, and legal process. It welcomes contributions from all areas of socio-legal study, and particularly those which address comparative issues and questions of development, change, and reform in socio-legal processes.

Canadian Journal of Law & Society - Law & Society Association (US); Socio-Legal Studies Association (UK); Research Committee on the Sociology of Law of the ISA.

The Western Criminology Review (WCR) is a forum for the publication and discussion of theory, research, policy, and practice in the rapidly changing and interdisciplinary fields of crime and criminology and criminal justice.

Sociology of Law and Human Behavior
Law and Human Behavior is a bimonthly academic journal published by the American Psychology–Law Society. Law and Human Behavior publishes original empirical papers, reviews, and meta-analyses on how the law, legal system, and legal process relate to human behavior, particularly legal psychology and forensic psychology.

Law and Critique - Law and Critique is not affiliated with any law school. Law and Critique is a triannual law journal closely involved with the critical legal studies community. Law and Critique takes a critical perspective on all aspects of legal theory, jurisprudence, and substantive law and covers the influences of a variety of schools of thought into legal scholarship, such as postmodernism, feminism, queer theory, critical race theory, literary approaches to law, psychoanalysis, law and the humanities, law and aesthetics, and post-colonialism.

Sociology of Law - Bibliography

Arrigo, Bruce A., ed. Social Justice/Criminal Justice: The Maturation of Critical Theory in Law, Crime, and Deviance. West/Wadsworth, 1999. ISBN:0-534-54558-0.

Curran, Jeanne and Takata, Susan R. Sociology of Law Handbook. 1996

Karl Marx. 1846. Second selection from The German Ideology: “The Relation of State and Law to Property.” Online from the Internet Archive.