Sociology of Law
Autumn 2023 Calendar
This course meets
Wednesdays and Fridays 12:45pm - 2:05pm EST
This is a tentative reading list for the course.
Introduction to the Class & Introduction to the Sociology of Law
- Milovanovic, Introduction
- Trubeck, Mark, “Complexity and Contradiction in the Legal Order: Balbus and the Challenge of Critical Social Thought about Law.” Law and Society Review 11:529 (1976) (OPTIONAL – If you choose to read it, pages 545-555 are the important ones, III – “Critical Social Thought About Law”)
- Matthews, Daniel. (2021). "Law in the Anthropocene." The Critical Legal Studies Pocketbook. Counterpress, Oxford. 62-69.
Durkheim and the Law
Aug 30/Sept 1
Durkheim - Introduction
Durkheim on Contracts and Property
- Sunshine, J., & Tyler, T. (2003). Moral solidarity, identification with the community, and the importance of procedural justice: The police as prototypical representatives of a group's moral values. Social Psychology Quarterly, 66(2), 153.
- Homework 1 - Durkheim
Weber and the Law
Introduction to Weber
- Milovanovic, Chapter 2
- Trubek, David M. (1972) "Max Weber on Law and the Rise of Capitalism." Faculty Scholarship Series. 4001. OPTIONAL
The Rationality and the Reasonable Man
- Gardner, John. (2015) “The Many Faces of the Reasonable Person.” Law Quarterly Review. 131:563. (This is a long reading, plan for time)
- Homework 2 - Max Weber
September 20: Exam 1: Introduction, Chapters 1 & 2, and Assigned Readings.
Marx and the Law
Intro to Marx and the Law
- Milovanovic, Chapter 3
- Carvalho, Henrique. (2021). "Concept: Hegemony." The Critical Legal Studies Pocketbook. Counterpress, Oxford. 72-73.
- Balbus, Isaac D. (1977) “Commodity Form and Legal Form: An Essay on 'Relative Autonomy' of the Law” Law and Society Review. 11(3)571-588 (OPTIONAL)
September 29/October 4/6
Cooling the Mark
- Spitzer, Mark. (1974) “Towards a Marxian Theory of Deviance.” Social Problems. 22:638. OPTIONAL
- Goffman, Erving. (1952) “On Cooling the Mark Out.” Psychiatry. 15(4):451
- Blumberg, Abraham (1966) “The Practice of Law as a Confidence Game.” Law and Society Review. 1:15
- Homework 3 - Marx
- Chambliss, William J. (1964) “A Sociological Analysis of the Law of Vagrancy.” Social Problems. 12(1):67.
Legal Realism and CLS
CRT and Feminist Jurisprudence
- Kelman, Mark. (1981) “Interpretive Construction in the Substantive Criminal Law” Stanford Law Review. 33(4):591-600 only.
- Best, R. K., Edelman, L. B., Krieger, L. H., & Eliason, S. R. (2011). Multiple disadvantages: An empirical test of intersectionality theory in EEO litigation. Law & Society Review, 45(4), 991–1025.
- Butler, Paul. (2014). “Stop and Frisk and Torture – Lite: Police Terror of Minority Communities." Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law. 12:57.
- Homework 4 - Sociological Jurisprudence
Choose one (1) of the following 4 articles to read:
- Delgado, Richard. (1982). "Words that Wound: A Tort Action for Racial Insults, Epithets, and Name-Calling." Harvard Civil Rights - Civil Liberties Law Review. 17:133:89.
- Matsuda, Mari J. (2000). "On Causation." Columbia Law Review. 100: 2195-2220.
- West, R., Bowman, C. G., & Keren, H. (2019). "Feminism and Contract Law." In Research Handbook on Feminist jurisprudence. (pp. 406–425). essay, Edward Elgar Publishing Limited.
- Rimalt, Noya. (2019). "Against Roe exceptionalism: degendering abortion. In Research Handbook on Feminist jurisprudence. (pp. 264-282). essay, Edward Elgar Publishing Limited.
Introduction to Functionalist Perspectives
Black's Theory of Law & Bridging the Gap between Sociology of Law and Jurisprudence: Natural Law/Positive Law/Morality and Law
- Black, Donald. (1983) “Crime as Social Control” American Sociological Review. 48(1):34.
- Lukina, Anna. (2022) "Making Sense of Evil Law"
- Homework 5 - Black's Theory in Popular Culture
3 8 - Exam 2: Introduction, Chapters 3, 4, & 5, and Assigned Readings.
Introduction to Legal Semiotics
Legal Semiotic Analysis
- Jackson, Bernard. (1998) “Truth or Proof: The Criminal Verdict.” International Journal for the Semiotics of Law. 33(11):227.
- Bilotta, Isabel, et al. (2019) “How Subtle Bias Infects the Law.” Annual Review of Law and Social Science. 15:6.1.
- Backer, Larry. (2015). “A view on A. J. Greimas’s Essay, ‘The Semiotic Analysis of Legal Discourse: Commercial Laws That Govern Companies and Groups of Companies” Excerpt: The Semiotics of the Hobby Lobby Decision. In Signs in Law – A Source Book. Springer. Background on the case
- Homework 6 - Semiotics and The Code of the Street
- Anderson, Elijah. "The Code of the Streets." The Atlantic. May 1994.
November 29/December 1
- Milovanovic, Chapter 7
- Neill, Calum. (2013) “An Introduction to Lacanian Discourse Analysis” Theory and Psychology. 23(3):334 (OPTIONAL, but helpful)
Quantum Legal Theory
- Schroeder, Jeanne L. (2000) “The Four Discourses of Law: A Lacanian Analysis of Legal Practice and Scholarship” Texas Law Review. 79:15 (OPTIONAL - good example of using Lacanian Discourse Analysis)
- Shon, Phillip Chon Ho. (2000) “Hey You C’me Here!”: Subjectivization, Resistance, and the Interpellative Violence of Self-Generated Police-Citizen Encounters.” International Journal of Semiotics of Law. 13:159 (OPTIONAL - good example of using Lacanian Discourse Analysis)
- Mannhein, Karl. (draft paper) "Quantum Constitutionalism" (Youtube link)
- Homework 7 - Postmodernism
- Course Reflection
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