Law and Society - Book Report/Review Example

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Law and Society Name Instructor Institution Date Pain Powerlessness and the Promises of Interdisciplinary Legal Scholarship: An Idiosyncratic, Autobiographical Account of Conflict and Continuity Article Summary This document tries to bring out the pain and powerlessness that exist in law in relation to society…
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Download file to see previous pages Scholars in this field are not in many cases interested in building up a permanent theory to handle the societal problems. Such scholars are fond of selecting a particular research problem due to their various interests in the subject (Sarat, 2000). For others, law reflects the organization of a social system, the struggles of which hardly change or regulate society. Article Analysis When Sarat tries to understand what is at stake when it comes to law and society, he considers Brooks W’s case. Brooks forced a lady to drive to a particular destination where he raped and killed her. On his first hearing, Brooks was found guilty of rape, kidnapping, murder, and robbery. However, on appealing, his death sentence and murder sentences were withdrawn. To challenge this decision, a retrial case was set, which Sarat attended with the aim of trying to discover the relationship between law and language. During this hearing, it was clearly seen how law can be modified through words to fit different situations (Sarat, 2000). All that matters in law is how well you can present your arguments and back them up with supportive evidences. According to Sarat (2000), the sociological studies of law made sense to him the way he knew it. Law is not always protective as we may think, but it oppresses the vulnerable people in society, since it can be termed as skewed privilege to the powerful. The words spoken by Spencer claiming that law is everywhere only refer to the poor, as the rich in most cases are able to get away with their mistakes. The basis of the sociological studies about law was to expose the irony behind the law regulations. Though law on paper may seem to be expressed in terms of equality and justice, the fact is it operates along a biased line. From a sociological perspective, law can be considered to be failing, weak, and irrelevant. On the other hand, Spencer’s words can be said to have a meaning of how law prescribes peoples’ actions. Sarat (2000) explains that it forms social relations and confines people to particular ways of living, hence people act as captives of their own lives. Law gives absolute power to the legal officials to interpret and reveal what is to be right or wrong. Unfortunately, the legal fraternity has been found to take matters into their own hands and modified the law to fit their interests. This means that to avoid getting oneself into trouble, one has to internalize the laws – the social scholars term this as colonization of the soul. In this regard, law cannot be separated from people’s aspiration, goals, and interests. Sarat (2000) firmly asserts that law and society form a science, since they are studied through experimentation and observation. To say that the social studies of law are built through arguments and narratives is to be controversial. The usage of language and narrative in law and society is due to the fact that stories are used in law to ascertain what has happened; the legal experts rely on narratives in order determine the actual experiences of the people. How to Turn a Beggar into a Bus Stop: Law, Traffic and the ‘Function of the Place’ Article Summary The use of the street space in the urban settings is important, since a street is considered as the traffic space used by the pedestrians. However, there has been a concern on the use of the stre ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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