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Lecture 12

Law and Social Change - Lecture 12.docx

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Department
Social Science
Course
SOSC 2350
Professor
Tanja Juric
Semester
Fall

Description
Law and Society  SOSC 2350  Week 10­ Lecture 11 Law and Social Change  Mobilizing law and Roach’s “Role of Charter Litigation” What is Social Change?  • Large numbers of people engaging in group activities and relationships that are different from those in  which they or their parents engaged in previously.  • (i.e. modification in the way people work, rear family, educate their children, govern themselves and  seek meaning in life)   ▯Recognition that traditions change, customs change.  • What causes social change?   ▯Industrialization  • A multitude of interdependent factors   ▯(e.g. technology, conflict, political and economic factors)  Some theories that have explored this relationship already:  • Marxism – class conflict and organization  ▯Also see Chambliss article re: Vagrancy laws  • Durkheim – law reflects complexities of society  ▯Also see Weber’s types of legitimate authority. (Charismatic, legal traditional, legal rational)   ▯These types of legitimate authority may or may not be supported in the law.  Controversial Relationship between law and social change:  • Is law determined by the sense of justice and the moral sentiments of the population?   ▯(i.e: is it close to, and reflecting, prevailing social norms?)  • Or is law a means through which social change can be brought about?   ▯(i.e: is law on the cutting edge of changing mores)  Two Different Perspectives:  • Jeremy Bentham: law can/ should lead society   ▯Legal reforms should respond to new social needs and restructure society.  • Von Savigny: Law is/ should be following society’s lead   ▯Only fully developed customs can form the basis of legal change.  • Two very different perspectives on the role of law.  Bentham: Law Leads Society: • Law should create the greatest good for the greatest number of people  • There fore, the law should intervene in society to make positive changes where these are required   ▯Customary practices • Entails a confidence in the power of law • Inherent benefits of law.  Van Savigny: Law Follows Costumes, traditions and what society believes ought to happen: • Law 
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