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[SOCL 4471] - Midterm Exam Guide - Comprehensive Notes for the exam (12 pages long!)


Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOCL 4471
Professor
Gremillion
Study Guide
Midterm

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LSU
SOCL 4471
MIDTERM EXAM
STUDY GUIDE

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SOCIOLOGY OF LAWTEST 1 NOTES
Example for forum 1
Freedom of speech: valuespeople say more of what they want to say because of this amendment.
Belief—eligio, thee is a illio diffeet sets of eligio eause oe peso did’t like hat a pasto
said. Norms—e do’t tho athig at the gu i fee speeh alle
NOTES:
FOUNDATIONS OF LAW AND SOCIETY
The law is an inherently social thinghow often do we encounter the law on a daily basisboth
formally and informally?
We live in a world where the la itself is ofte faed as eig soethig othe tha this
old
o Rule of law: the idea that obedience to the law is fundamental to the existence of a
iilized ultue
o Plato—fo that state i hih the la is sujet ad has o authoit, I peeie to be
on the highway to ruin; but I see that the state in which the law is above rulers, and the
rulers are inferiors to the law, has salvation, and the very blessings in which the God can
ofe.
If the law was not higher than society, the state would be in ruin
Philosophers argue where it comes from inspirationally, but has sociologists we argue it is a
man-made social structureit is made up by people to control behavior and provide outlines
to social norms
Law as a social institution
o Natural lawlaw is tied to a set of moral standards that are fundamental to life. Law is
not relativeit is universal, inherently human
o Positive law—las that aise fo the os of a gie ultue. La is studied fo hat
it is ad ot hat it should e. We ae talkig about the words on a page, not what
they are supposed to do
o A social institution is defined by Stark as: relatively permanent patterns or clusters of
specialized roles, groups, organizations, customs and activities devoted to meeting
fundamental social needs
Intersections of law and society
o What makes the law such a strange institution is that it intersects with so many different
areas of social life and because of its nature, it actively defines things
o These things can be sillylike Parmesan Cheese being a protected term that can only
describe cheese that literally comes from a certain part of Italy
o Or it can be seriouslike how we define crimes or social situations.
o As humans, we communication based on shared understandings and knowledge
cultural knowledgethat shapes our perceptions of the world and makes it at the same
time
What is the law?
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o Social function of law
Social control: the law helps maintain social order (the one people usually think
aboutoften seen as a empowering or limiting thing)
Dispute settlement: the law resolves disputes between people (if a tree falls on
your fence line, sue your neighbor)
“oial hage: the la a soeties attept to shift soiet’s ehaio (dug
laws, civil rights, gay marriage)
Rule of law: preservation of civil rights, civil liberties, and individual freedoms
(no one is above the lawthe law must propagate itself)
o What are the different ways people define the law?
Define it in relations to themselves
As an aspirational thingbroader than just the law
Theological influences
o What are the social mechanisms that explain those differences?
Socialization
Interpretationinterpersonal experiences that happened to you when you
experience the law
o People tend to interchangeably refer to both the actual law itself (statutes) and the
social institutions that are associated with it
There is no general agreement about a definition, nothing that commands a
general consensus. Nor can there be. Law is not a thing in the real world that
can be described with any precision. There is no such thing as a purely objective
definition of law. What we call law depends on why we want to call something
law—Thomas Friedman
o Law is formal and informal
Law is formal when it deals with rules and regulations that are written and
enforced via specified guidelines
Most law is of this character
Law becomes informal in its enforcement. Where there is always some
element of discretion to be dealt with
This has ipotat ipliatios he e ask the uestio does la eist i a
gie soiet? (early anthropologists and the definition of savages)
o Law is physical force
Is physical force and its threats the reason why people obey the law?
There are many other reasons why people obey the law, not just force
o Fear, obligation, fear of peer pressure, self-preservation, habit
Does it matter why people choose to obey the law?
Selznick says the essence of law is legality or the RULE OF LAW. The idea
that o oe is aoe the la ad the la’s poe is aoe all
o Complexities of defining the law
Thomas Hobbes just a statute, oadig those thigs hih ae hoest ad
foiddig the ota.
Walsh ad Hees la is a itte od of geeal ules of odut
applicable to all members of a defined community, society or culture, which
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