Legal Studies Final Exam Study Guide Max Weber (1864-1920) • Legal education but did not practice law • Political sociologist • Focused on the impact of rationalization of society on the law • Believed that rationality in the individual and in society comes with time • “Over time, the legal systems in the West have become increasingly rationalized and formal.” Karl Marx (1818-1883) • German sociologist • “Father” of communism • Interested in how economic relations determine the law (and society more generally) Emile Durkheim (1858-1917) • French sociologist • One of the founding fathers of legal studies • Focused on what binds people and society together •created the idea of collective conscious • believes there is restitutive and repressive law Charles Hamilton Houston From the Movie “Road to Brown” "the man who killed Jim Crow." the first black editor of the Harvard Law Review, dean of Howard University Law School and chief counsel to the NAACP, launched a number of precedent-setting cases leading up to Brown v. Board of Education. He strategically targeted segregated education as the key to undermining the entire Jim Crow system Gerald Rosenberg From the Movie “Road to Brown”
Rationalization (in the Weberian sense) For an individual: • Methodical style of life • Means-ends calculations to get to ultimate goal • Base our calculations on the predicted behavior of others • Example: education For society: • Institutions governed by formal rules • Application of those rules leads to greater efficiency in pursuing the institution’s goals • Example: factory work Formal irrationality Prophetic revelations, trial by ordeal, oracles Think: Procedural, Present-Focused and unpredictable, haphazard, ad hoc, concrete, emotional, intuitive, illogical Substantive irrationality Judgment based on personal opinions of judge Think: Value-laden, Future-Focused and unpredictable, haphazard, ad hoc, concrete, emotional, intuitive, illogical Formal rationality Law is based on logically clear, internally consistent rules, decisions reached through deductive process Think: Procedural, Present-Focused and predictable, rule-bound, abstract, intellectual Substantive rationality Law systematically oriented towards non-legal norms (religion, ethical) Think: Value-laden, Future-Focused and predictable, rule-bound, abstract, intellectual The “End of Law” The Paradox of Rationalization • Laws become more rationalized over time through their use
• Rationalization leads to more efficient administration of the law BUT what makes law more efficient to administer? ...using it less! Perschbacker and Bassett’s argument • Law has two purposes – Helps order society by creating behavioral norms and precedent for future guidance – Public resolution of disputes • Law is becoming less and less public which undermines both of these purposes – Arbitration, mediation (civil cases) – Plea bargaining (criminal cases) Implications: the “End of Law”?