Pub. date: 2007 | Online Pub. Date: March 15, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412939645 | Print ISBN: 9781412916080 | Online ISBN: 9781412939645| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this handbook
Chapter 34: The Sociology of Law
The sociology of law Sociology's canonical classical theorists, Karl Marx, Max Weber, and Émile Durkheim, confronted dramatic societal transformations. Studying law was a central task for Durkheim and Weber, as they sought to understand, explain, and predict the interrelated changes in technology, economy, polity, and culture constituting the rise of democratic capitalism (Sutton 2001; Stryker 2003). At the dawn of the twenty-first century, sociologists again confront profound and interrelated macrotechnological, institutional, and cultural transformations. These are reshaping everything from the nature of work, employment, and economic careers; to political institutions, policies, and culture; to religious and family life. Again, law is an important object of sociological inquiry. As did the classical theorists, contemporary sociological researchers of law provide windows into possible, alternative, or likely futures for national and global political economies and cultural life (Dezalay and Garth 1996, 2002; Stone 2004). This chapter reviews sociological treatments of what law is ...