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LWSO 201 Lecture Notes - Small Claims Court, Thomas Aquinas, Moral Universalism

Law and Society
Course Code
LWSO 201
Marywyatt Sindlinger

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Law and Social Transformation
1) Social Change as cause of Legal Change
2) Legal Change as cause of Social Change
a) Dror: law can be both a direct and indirect cause of social change
b) Mayhew: law can result in an extension of both formal rights and formal facilities
c) Friedman: law can cause or create social planning or social disruption
3) Efficacy of Law as Social Change: Factors
a) Authoritative and prestigious source
b) Introduce its rationale in terms that are understandable and compatible with
existing values
c) Reference to other communities with which identify and where law is already in
d) Aimed at making change in a relatively short time
e) Commitment by those enforcing the law
f) Positive and a negative sanctions
g) Enforcement of law should be reasonable
h) Information about the law and whether it is vague
4) Advantages of Law in Creating Social Change
a) Legitimate Authority
b) Binding Force of Law
c) Sanctions
5) Limitations of Law in Creating Social Change
a) Interest Convergence
b) Insufficient on its own (law as a policy instrument)
c) Morality and Values
d) Resistance to Change
e) Social Factors
i) Vested Interests
ii) Social Class
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iii) Ideological Resistance
iv) Organized Opposition
f) Psychological Factors
i) Habit
ii) Motivation
iii) Ignorance
iv) Selective Perception
v) Moral Development
g) Cultural Factors
i) Fatalism
ii) Ethnocentrism
iii) Incompatibility
iv) Superstition
h) Economic Factors
general information and definitions (book - Vago) - read for final exam
• absolutely reciprocal (go hand in hand)
• can't have one without the other this is not the accepted view, but there is two extreme laws:
one - law is shaped by society
• idea that law is a dependant variable
• what the law is depends on social mores, opinion and customs
• those things shape the law
two - law is a tool to shape society
• law as social engineering
• China - one child policy
• changes in society will come from the law
• sometimes social views push the law (technology)
• sometimes the law tries to drive social change (distracted driving)
• problems with these laws - don't have a lot of social support - seem silly to people
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