Max Weber and rationalization - Laws Relationship to...

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Law’s Relationship to Society-how does behavior of legal actors and dimensions affect conditions and outcomes of life in society-how do non-legal and societal variables affect and explain behavior of legal actorsMax Weber-1864-1920-had a legal education but did not practice law-was a political sociologist-never wrote directly on law; focused on the impact of rationalization of society-rationalization for individual-methodological style of life; use means-ends calculations to get goal; base calculations on predicted behavior of others; example-to get a good job, be rational-get a good education -it assumes that other actors are also rational-assumes that the world is relatively stable-maintain relatively constant expectations-rationalization for society-institutions governed by more and more rules-factory assembly line (Model T was only painted black because it dried the quickest); also leads to capitalism-most efficient way to get to end goal of making money-law has become more rationalized over time-Historically, legal systems have been:1. rational-setting disputes defined by rules, rules arranged to form a logical, clear, consistent system, rules are general and abstract, decisions controlled by intellect2. irrational-disputes settled arbitrarily, multiple and different rules can govern a particular case, rules bogged down in particulars that make them seem arbitrary; decisions made by magic, oracles, dice, revelation, intuition-can’t predict the outcome-different legal systems have chosen to emphasize:1. Formal principles-use procedures to make decisions, terms of contest promote equality, outcome is not determined by social, political factors of the particular case2. substantive goals-emphasis on meeting goals, more emphasis on outcome

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