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Law and Society
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Law and Society
A Sociological Approach

First Edition


August 2019 | 280 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
This text introduces students to the study of law from a sociological perspective by focusing on four themes: the relationship between law and society; law in everyday life; the role of race, class and gender in the legal system; and current political debates that are connected to law. While explaining the essentials elements of law, and drawing on scholarly literature and relevant cases, the author does not advocate for normative views on law and the legal system. The text compares laws across various societies, discusses international law, and demonstrates how the laws of certain countries affect those of others--providing readers with insights into the nature of law within any society.

 
Preface
Opening Thoughts

 
 
Acknowledgments
 
List of Reviewers
 
About the Author
 
Chapter 1. Law and Society: An Overview
Introduction

 
From Savagery to Civilization: A Brief Overview

 
What Is Law?

 
What Is Sociology?

 
The Norm Continuum

 
Cooperation and Conflict

 
Law and Everyday Life

 
Critical Analyses of Law

 
Social Justice and Constitutionalism

 
Conclusion

 
Notes

 
 
Chapter 2. Fundamentals of Law and Society
Introduction

 
Substantive and Procedural Law

 
Private and Public Law

 
Common Law

 
Trifles

 
Jurisprudence

 
Sociolegal Thinkers

 
Notes

 
 
Chapter 3. Sociologists of Law: Classical and Contemporary
Introduction

 
Contemporary Sociologists of Law

 
Notes

 
 
Chapter 4. Criminal Law
Introduction

 
Burden of Proof

 
Presumption of Innocence

 
Mens Rea and Actus Reus

 
Legal Defenses: Exemptions, Justifications, and Excuses

 
The System of Federalism

 
Eighteenth Amendment: The Criminalization of Drinking

 
The Case of Hate Crimes

 
Factors in Crime Reporting

 
Notes

 
 
Chapter 5. Civil Law
Introduction

 
Obligations

 
More on Due Process

 
The Seventh Amendment

 
Notes

 
 
Chapter 6. Administrative Law
Introduction

 
The Rivalry Between Administration and Law

 
Nondelegation

 
Independent Regulatory Agencies

 
The EPA and the Clean Air Act

 
The Process of Environmental Regulation

 
Who Are the Administrators?

 
The Regulatory Trilemma

 
Notes

 
 
Chapter 7. Law and Social Control
Introduction

 
Class Domination

 
Subtypes Within Legal Control

 
Social Control: Three Basic Forms

 
The Sanction Continuum

 
More on Legal Control

 
Collegial Formations and Authoritarian Drift

 
Conclusion

 
Notes

 
 
Chapter 8. Hunting and Forest Laws
Introduction

 
Forests: A Brief History

 
Law and Public Policy

 
Forest Fires and Forest Policy

 
Radical Environmentalism

 
Notes

 
 
Chapter 9. Are Judges Biased?
Introduction

 
Research Evidence on the Question of Judicial Independence

 
Justice Stevens and Six Constitutional Amendments

 
Notes

 
 
Chapter 10. Law School and the Legal Profession
Introduction

 
Historical Antecedents to the Law School

 
The Idea of a Profession

 
Applying to Law School

 
The Goals of Law Schools

 
Passing the Bar

 
The Changing Composition of Law School

 
Professional Ethics

 
First-Year Law Training: The Socratic Method

 
Conclusion

 
Notes

 
 
List of Legal Cases
 
References
 
Index

The benefits of [this book] are the excellent and contemporary coverage of different types of law (especially problem-solving courts), critical themes including a separate chapter on law and equality, and the focus on the important interrelations between legal and political (state) institutions. The case studies in the chapters are interesting, contemporary, and highly relevant. Further, the future of law and trends is put in historical context and projected to the future. This is highly beneficial for students to be able to get exposed and see demonstrated theoretical and analytical tools, their application, and most importantly, their utility.

Sanjay Marwah
CSU-East Bay
Key features
Author James Chriss is a sociologist who researches and publishes extensively in the fields of law, crime, and delinquency.
The text's major themes give it a solidly sociological perspective on the law.
The author intentionally avoids advocating for liberal or conservative orientations toward the law and legal system.
Includes coverage of international law and the challenge of enforcing laws that transcend national boundaries.
At 10 chapters and 280 pages, it offers a succinct and affordable overview of the field.

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