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Viewing: SOC 2167 : Sociology of Law

Last approved: Mon, 03 Jul 2017 08:02:48 GMT

Last edit: Thu, 29 Jun 2017 16:46:15 GMT

Catalog Pages referencing this course
Columbian College of Arts and Sciences
Sociology (SOC)
Sociology of Law
Sociology of Law
Fall 2017
Course Type
Default Grading Method
Letter Grade

SOC 1003; and SOC 1001 or SOC 1002

Fran Buntman
Frequency of Offering

Term(s) Offered

Are there Course Equivalents?
Fee Type


Law as a social phenomenon and agency of social control; study of judicial process and the sources of and challenges to the legitimacy of law.
Learning objectives for this class include, but are not limited to, the following: • Identification and use of/critical engagement with students’ previous knowledge about the law, variously inchoate, accurate, inaccurate, assumed, and learned/taught; • Know and understand (terminology, institutional organization, etc.) core facts about the structure and functioning of law and the judiciary in the United States including federal versus state law; distinctions between and among constitutional, civil, and criminal law; o Identify, summarize, and analyze the use of scholarly literature and arguments in supporting or challenging claims or normative beliefs about how law functions; • Know and understand core terms in the sociology of law/socio-legal studies; • Compare and contrast various theories of the relationship of law and society, including the origin and/or function of law, the relationship between law and power, and an associated ability to recognize and employ theoretical thinking especially with respect to the sociology of law; • Analyze how power and social structures impact the nature and functioning of law, and vice versa; • Recognize and employ key distinctions relevant to the sociology of law e.g. how systems and logics of law may be formal and/or informal, official and/or unofficial, legitimate and/or illegitimate; the distinct yet overlapping domains of law as sui generis, political/partisan, and policy, and, especially, claims about any of these as “the truth” from particular perspectives; how social institutions shape and are shaped by law; • Have an introductory appreciation of comparative and international law; i.e. elements that differ and/or are shared in legal systems in different countries and contexts; o Explain how comparative and international perspectives can illuminate understanding, critical engagement, substantive evaluation, and so on; • Develop an introductory ability to understand and apply legal reasoning; • Critical appreciation of the role of legal education in shaping the legal profession and influencing both legal and social elites; • Recognize different methodologies used in researching law and the sociology of law/law and society; • Distinguish among different bases for claims (e.g. empirical of different kinds, legal, normative/ethical, faith) and what constitutes credible evidence and/or argumentation to uphold or support these claims. • Integrate relevant contemporary news and events into the subject matter of the class. Learning outcomes for the Problem-Based Learning component in particular (though much applies to the course as a whole): • Develop and enhance problem-solving skills by learning to define, analyze, and develop informed solutions to socio-legal problems, including to identify how law shapes potential problems and solutions. • Develop and enhance evidence-based arguments about social issues, understanding the role of law in creating and/or changing social reality; • Improve written communication skills through writing for a variety of audiences about socio-legal issues; • Improve oral communication skills through the sharing of research findings with the instructor and peers.
Uploaded a Course Syllabus

Course Attribute
CCAS - GCR:Social & Behavioral
SEAS - Soc. Science Electives

Key: 7542