Sociology of Law
Characterized by a scientific rather than normative emphasis, legal sociology focuses on empirical patterns of legal behavior, such as initiation and winning of law suits, origins and content of rules, and the development of legal institutions. Most literature has addressed case-level variation and the course will reflect this. But instead of analyzing cases in terms of the applicable rules and policies, lectures and readings will invoke the social characteristics of participants (e.g., social ties, status, marginality, reputation and organizational affiliations) to predict and explain case outcomes. Sociological techniques by which social differentials in cases (discrimination) might be minimized will also be studied. Modern American materials will be emphasized.