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Functions & Dysfunctions .docx

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Social Science
SOSC 2350
Tanja Juric

Functions of law 1. Social control Homogenous society- behavioural conformity ensured by the fact that socializing experiences are the same for everyone  Supported by tradition  Primarily dependent upon self-sanctioning and seldom require formal punishment Heterogeneous society- social control solely rests on the internalization of shared norms  Behaving due to fear of disapproval  Great diversity, lack of communication, absence of similar values, attitudes, standards of conduct, economic inequalities, competitive struggles = increasing need for formal mechanisms of social control  Social control is characterized by: (1) Explicit rules of conduct (2) planned use of sanctions to support the rules (3) designated officials to interpret and enforce the rules 2. Dispute settlement  Informal mechanisms such as negotiation, mediation, or forcible self-help measures  Law only deals with disputes that have been translated into legal disputes  Results in a resolution of specific legal dispute, but not in the amelioration of the border issues that have produced that conflict 3. Social change Social engineering: purposive, planned, and directed social change initiated, guided, and supported by the law  Social institution to satisfy social wants  Law is often used as a method of social change, or a way of bringing about planned social change by the government Dysfunctions of law (1) Stemming from the laws conservative tendencies  Social change often precedes change in the law
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