Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Sociology of Law 1

LEVEL 02 - Years 2, 3 in Modular Undergraduate Course



DESCRIPTION This study-unit is designed to introduce students to key theories and research traditions in the sociological study of law. It offers a systematic study of law and the legal system conducted by scholars other than lawyers. The study-unit will give the classical background of how sociologists studied law and moves on to modern and contemporary sociology.

Theoretical foundations and the development and variations of the sociology of law will be studied. Intellectual traditions of law - originating from the Enlightenment - which helped to pave the way for the development of the social sciences will also be presented. Thus, a background related to pre-sociological thinkers who devoted their work to the study of law or who later became influential will be examined. Theoretically, this study-unit then starts from the centrality in sociological thinking about law in the works of Max Weber and Emile Durkheim.

Study-unit Aims:

- To introduce students to a vision of the sociology of law on the basis of a review of seminal theoretical work in this area of study;
- To acquaint students with the relevant works and influence of classical masters and move on to theoretical developments in modern sociology of law.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- demonstrate a mastery of core sociological concepts and perspectives;
- understand the important theoretical foundations of this sociological speciality and would thus be prepared for the next course which is focused on the empirical developments in the sociology of law;
- think sociologically about law and legal institutions;
- understand how law gives meaning and form to social life.

2. Skills:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- acquire familiarity with bibliographical and search tools appropriate for her/his research, study and presentation needs;
- gain the ability to situate her/his particular research interests and disciplines within a wider Humanities framework;
- enhance her/his critical appraisal and study skills;
- navigate with confidence through online resources beyond Google.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

- Deflem, M. (2008) Sociology of Law – Visions of scholarly tradition. Cambridge University Press.
- Deflem, M. (2002) Policing World Society: Historical Foundations of International Police Cooperation. New York: Oxford University Press.
- Dingwall, R. (2002) “Ethnomethodology and Law” in An Introduction to Law and Social Theory, ed. R. - Banakar and M. Travers. Portland, OR: Hart Publishing.
- Durkheim, E. (1893) 1984. The Division of Labour in Society. Macmillan Press Ltd: London.
- Edelman, L. and R. Stryker (2005) “A Sociological Approach to Law and the Economy” in The Handbook of Economic Sociology 2nd edn. Eds. N.J. Smelser and R. Swedberg. Russell Sage Foundation: New York.Ehrlich, E. (1913) 2001. Fundamental Principles of the Sociology of Law . Transaction Publishers:U.S.
- Foucault, M. (1975) 1977. Discipline and Punish: The birth of the prison. New York: Pantheon.
- Luhmann, N. (1993) 2004. Law as a Social System. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- MacCorquodale, P. and G. Jensen. (1993) “Women in the Law: partners or tokens?” Gender and Society 7 (4): 582-593.
- Parsons, T. (1954) “A Sociologist Looks at the Legal Profession” Pp. 370-385 in his Essays in Sociological Theory. Rev. edn. New York: The Free Press.
- Timacheff, N. (1939 ) 1976. An Intoducion to the Sociology of Law. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.


Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment SEM1 Yes 100%

LECTURER/S Bridget Borg

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.