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LWSO 201 Lecture Notes - Small Claims Court, Fatalism, Ethnocentrism

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
a) Law is shaped by society
law is dependent on society
social ideas shape and determine what the law is
b) Law is a tool that shapes society
law as social engineering e.g. one child policy in china
Soviet Union laws
2) Problems
They do not have social support
vagueness of the law e.g. grey area
under what circumstances can the law affect social change and vice versa
3) Legal Change as cause of Social Change
society is changing faster recently because of technology advancement
urbanization and change in communication transportation, education etc
a) Dror: law can be both a direct and indirect cause of social change
indirect: law shapes institutions in society
Direct: direct relationship between the law and social change.
e.g. prohibition, drunk driving etc
b) Mayhew: law can result in an extension of both formal rights and formal facilities
Rights: law grants rights to a specific group of people in society and then
changing it to include others e.g. women's right to vote
Facilities: creating more opportunities within a legal framework
e.g. creation of small claims Courts
c) Friedman: law can cause or create social planning or social disruption
law can create new forms of behaviours or structure
blocking existing social structure in society
4) 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
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