Pub. date: 2007 | Online Pub. Date: September 25, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952637 | Print ISBN: 9780761923879 | Online ISBN: 9781412952637| Publisher:Sage Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Injury to Persons, Property, and Relations, Sociology of
Robert M. Ackerman
The law of torts—that is, the law through which one obtains compensation for injury to persons, property, and relations—has long been both an instrument of social control and a reflection of social values. Tort law has been shaped by a combination of political, economic, and social forces, marked until recently by a tendency toward greater protection for workers and consumers. The twentieth century saw U.S. jurisprudence and associated commentary emerge from a regime of “natural law” and status-based theories toward an acknowledgment that law is an expression of evolving social and political norms. While law and economics has played a significant role in influencing and explaining tort law, the intellectual foundations for the inclusion of other social sciences can be found in the emergence of legal realism, which thereafter evolved through its more modern offshoots: critical legal studies, the law and society movement, and socioeconomics. Today, it is axiomatic that ...