sociology of law syllabus.docx - Course Syllabus Jump to...

This preview shows page 1 - 3 out of 9 pages.

Course SyllabusJump to TodaySociology114Andrew BarlowUCBerkeley460 Barrows Spring 2020 Office Hours: TTH 3:30-5:00 [email protected] Sign up for office hours here (Links to an externalsite.)Readers:Shalita Williams: [email protected]Ifejesu Ogunleye: [email protected] The Sociology of LawThe sociology of law studies law and legal institutions as social relationships.This course inquires into the ways ‘legality’ is constituted by a wide range ofpolitical, economic and cultural practices, and in turn the ways in which law isconstitutive of social life in general. Everyday life both creates andincorporates legal meanings and practices. This course examines the waysthat legal meanings and practices appear in conceptions of society,community and the individual. This course also examines the special role oflegal professionals in the creation of legal meanings, and the social impacts oftheir practices.Understanding the role of law in society is particularly important at a time of
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.

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture