an unprecedented attack on democratic institutions, in which the currentAdministration openly threatens to ignore or dismantle established law andlegal structures. The extent to which the ‘rule of law’ can withstand thecurrent political regime may well determine the future of democracy in theUnited States. But what is the ‘rule of law’ and what makes ‘the law’powerful? The sociological approach to these questions suggests that thepower of legality depends on the ways in which different social groups engagewith the law. As the history of the last hundred years has shown, engagementwith legality is necessary for all serious efforts for social justice in modernsocieties. But, if not informed by an accurate understanding of socialdynamics, engagement with law can also subvert such efforts. This courseprovides students with the opportunity to engage in in-depth inquiry into theuses of law both for domination and for social change with an extendedexamination of racism and civil rights law in the United States.