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Intro. Lecture I type up my notes so i dont miss a thing from lectures.

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Social Science
SOSC 1375
Kimberley White

Overview • What is law? What counts as law? • A set of rules • A system looking for equality in society • System to keep order, rules, justice • Protect personal liberties • Safe guarding of rights • A way of balancing competing interests • Law is not natural or fixed and there isn't a universal idea of what law is • Since there are a lot of theories of what law is there isn't a fixed understanding of law • What counts as law? • Some see it as a vehicle of justice and some see it as a vehicle of oppression and some see it as a state right or a denial of rights • What you come to know about law is creative and opposite to what we think about it being a set of rules • Their very context specific and its a human process • It was created by us • Law is human fundamentally • like most humans law have good and bad trades • It makes mistakes, behaves badly and according to its upbringing • It may appear as a well oiled machine that's reliable and predictable and it is an image • Law is concerned with its appearance and its concerned about what other people think • But underneath its flawed • Were fine as long as its going in the background and when it fails and its not going were thinking what the hell is going on • We want to have this much bigger idea of law • We make laws then we assume that everything that has happened before that law is just wiped clean and that's not the case, often laws are oppressed to stop injustice in society and it doesn't necessarily have that affect • What we count as law is to pay attention as to how it really works and how it really behaves • Law requires social interaction in order to give meaning to its existence • It doesn't hover above society rather its an integral part of how we go through to society and how we function • We are all in different way legal subjects • Your a legal subject the moment you are born as a citizen not when you break the law • Notion of rights and citizenship are legal concepts • We are all subjects of law, we are not subject TO law in the same way • We don't all have the same status in social structures • Have to look at what people are a part of • The changes of law doesn't necessarily change in the changes of attitudes • Us war on drugs • Even though the human charter has had many positive effects, it hasn't done any difference in Canada but in the us it has allowed them to erase their past, ex. Locking upmentally ill people • The law just might not be the best way on justice in the social way • We continue to believe and behave as though the law embodies higher moral values rather then it being socially constructed to appear that way • Social construct = humans in society has constructed those norms and values from people in society • The official version of the law • What is socio-legal studies? • Ccritical • Review of course syllabus and questions Social Constructionism • A sociological theory of how knowledge is produced and how particular social phenomena (such as law) develop in a particular context • Both the ideals and practices of law are recognized as cultural products or artifacts that tell us something about that culture • The goal is to being able to read about this artifact, such as its history • Its culturally produced and it tells us something about that artifact • And if its socially constructed then it has no meaning till we say it does • Sometimes it has no meaning until we say it is • Role in the nature of law also changes over time as it takes on new characterises, • Depends upon particular social conditions to define it • We still see lots of evidence of this • Law does not work that way, you cant just start doing it a different way • Relationship between law and morality and law and justice are reflected in the imagination of the idealized version of the law and its because of this divine thing that tells us what to do and governs us Readings • Should have learned natural law • Positive law • The difference between the two • How theories of law and perspectives of law are represented in our society • When reading about the organization of law, we will be coming back to that reading a certain times • There are legal structures and the law is a legal system and those systems have boundaries • It tells us what are conflicts and disputes • Its not consistent because sometimes if up weeds are too high and someone reports you then there is a problem but if someone does report you then you are in trouble Lady Justice • The blind fold is tent to show impartiality (that the law is blind and everyone is seen the same) • Balance is a scientific rule which shows that the law is usually measured • The sword is about her protecting,
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