THE FOX SCHOOL OF BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT
Department of Legal Studies
Law in American Society
Fall 2010 – Professor Samuel D. Hodge, Jr.
Tuesday and Thursday - 8:00 a.m. to 9:20 a.m.
Law is one of the most important forces that shapes and regulates conduct in both an
individual and societal setting. The legal system in the United States is unlike any other
in the world so this course will examine the development, complexity and diversity of
the laws in America. By establishing a framework that dictates the relationships
between individuals and society, the law influences most aspects of life and creates
social norms. It is a work in progress; in more than 200 years, it has evolved to
encompass waves of political, economic, and social change. Those who depart from
established norms are subjected to a variety of punishments ranging from civil lawsuits
to criminal prosecution. Understanding the American legal system—its history,
structure, and conceptual basis—is essential to becoming a fully participatory member
of society. Indeed, educated citizens should be aware of the ways in which the law is
structured and impacts their lives in both an individual and societal setting. Topics
include the history and development of the law, the structure of the American
government, the types of laws that regulate behavior in both a public and private setting,
as well as the political, social, ethical, and economic forces that influence the changing
nature of the law.
This course is part of the General Education (Gen Ed) program. Gen Ed intends to
develop your ability to think, problem-solve and communicate effectively. Gen Ed
courses are designed to help you understand how your professor’s field of study relates
to important controversies, issues or themes, and/or how it is connected to other fields
of study. The overall goal of the program is that you become active in the process of
learning, not only absorbing facts, but finding, evaluating and using information to
create new knowledge.
There are nine areas in Gen Ed, each with its own set of goals.
This course fulfills the U.S. Society area of the program.
Law and American Society
, Hodge, McGraw Hill Publishing Company, First Edition (2008).