SOCL 4471 Study Guide - Fall 2019, Comprehensive Final Exam Notes - Common Law, Precedent, Law

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29 Nov 2019
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Sociology 4471 Test 2
9/30/19
Functionalism and Law
Classic Sociological Theorists and Law Overview
Social theory has not seen law as a special thing that needs to be looked at on its
own
For sociologists, law is one of the many institutions that exists in society
Law is part of the social landscape but is still a part of larger institutions
For structural functionalism we will have to look at social integration and where
the law fits into that
Structural functionalism is a key sociological theory perspective
The core is that society is like a body and keeps things at equilibrium
Various institutions perform various function
Law for structural functionalists is an important system but they all see it in a
different way
Law is a social institution that performs a specific function
Summary of Functionalism
Functionalism and Law
Comte
Writing after the Great Enlightenment
He begins to sketch out all the mechanisms that give us social equilibrium
He comes up with a three tier structure:
System 1Structural interdependence
System 2Centers of power
System 3Cultural systems that regulate
Informal systems that regulate behavior
How can we tie the law into this?
System 1businesses having to follow financial laws; food prep; HIPPA
at hospitals
System 2the law is a central power
System 3formal and informal systems of behavior control
Durkheim and Law
Going though the industrial revolution
Argues that deviance is a necessity for society
Concerned with what holds society together
What is the relationship between norms and social conduct?
Parsons
AGIL system—Parson’s says this is necessary for law as a social function
AAdaptation
Case law, statutes
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GGoal attainment
Values, beliefs
IIntegration
Dispute settlement
LLatency (maintaining conformity)
Social control
Setup for Wednesday’s Reading
Relationship between law and morality
10/2/19
***missed class***
10/7/19
Durkheim and Punishment
Wayward Puritans
Deviance Among the Puritans
Kai Erikson argues that the Puritans used various public controversies in order to
keep the collective conscience held together
He focuses on 3 major historical events:
Antinomian Controversy
The Arrival of the Quakers
The Witch Trials
He uses the detailed crime data from the Puritans to back up his argument
Geographic Isolation
Erikson argues that the structure of the Puritan’s colony allowed them to
very effectively employ the law as a mechanism for social control
Size of colony
Geographic location
Religious nature
Erikson’s Argument
The puritanical system of law/religion creates a legal structure with a unique
approach to social control
Through mass hysteria the leaders of the church were able to use the deviant label
as a way to enforce social norms and community boundaries
Erikson refers to this as a “deployment pattern”
Each society has its own variation on a deployment pattern
The Deployment Pattern
Erikson borrows heavily from Durkheim’s argument that societies outline the
boundaries of culture with the deviant label
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