Fall 2007 - Introduction to Law and Society
Course ID: 379M Unique # 29180 Credit Hours: 3
6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
This course is restricted to upper division students only.
Although much valuable knowledge about the legal system comes from the field of criminology, there are several other ways to understand law without necessarily asking questions about crime. This course is designed to review how social science researchers have studied the general field of "law and society," i.e., the development and maintenance of law, legal institutions, and legal actors. Each week, we will examine samples of law and society research to understand how social influences affect legal decision-making and the structure of institutions, as well as how the law affects decision-making in everyday life. Broad social theories will be examined in legal settings, for example: how the sociology of the professions has been used to study attorneys; the ways in which social structure influences decisions in legal domains; the extent to which theories of social movements apply to use of the courts; as well as how theories of social psychological processes apply to disputes and legal decision- making. Students will be evaluated through written assignments and are encouraged to consider how to design original research in the field of law and society.