Hello! I'm Mary Lia Reiter and I will be your instructor for Sociol 4509. Please take a few minutes to review this syllabus and explore this site for information about your upcoming class. You may save this website as an icon on your cell phone or tablet so that you can access it at any time.
This course will examine the relationship between law and social order emphasizing the structure of law, social origins of law, and law as a source of social change.
While the law influences nearly every aspect of our lives, few people think academically about the law. This course will introduce you to the academic study of the law. We will begin with an introduction to the early sociological perspectives on the law, beginning with an examination of how the classical theorists (Durkheim, Marx, and Weber) defined the field of legal sociological inquiry. Then, weaving together legal concepts and legal theories, we will turn to some of the major theoretical movements that arose out of these early sociological perspectives, including legal realism, critical legal studies, sociological jurisprudence, critical race and feminist jurisprudence, legal semiotics, and postmodernism.
If you want a hard copy of the textbook, you should be able to find one for under $35. Let me know if you can't.
Additional readings will be available in Canvas
By the end of this semester, you should be able to:
This course meets in-person on Wednesdays and Fridays from 11:10am to 12:30pm. You will have readings and homework assignments available online in Canvas.
This course is divided into modules that will take approximately two weeks to cover. During the first week, we will focus on a major legal theory. During the second week, we will focus on current developments and empirical research.
This is a 3-credit-hour course. That means you should expect around 3 hours per week of time spent on direct instruction in addition to 6 hours of homework (reading and assignment preparation, for example) to receive a grade of (C) average.
There will be seven homework assignments during the semester. For most of these homework assignments, you will be able to choose from a list of potential ideas to explore. Your final homework assignment involves comparing and contrasting several different theoretical perspectives and methodologies.
At the end of the semester, you will reflect on your work throughout the semester. Your reflection should include comments on each of the homework assignments and exams as well as and a summary of and reflection on the totality of your accomplishments during the semester.
There will be three exams covering lectures, readings and any other class material. The format of the exams will include multiple choice, matching, fill-in the blank, and short answer/essay.
6 at 5 points each
1 at 10 points
40 points total
40% of your grade
1 at 15 points each
15 points total
15% of your grade
3 at 15 points each
45 points total
45% of your grade
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