skip navigation

PUBLICATIONS

Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.

 

NCJ Number: 64051 Find in a Library
Title: SOCIOLOGISTS' CONCEPTUALIZATIONS OF LAW - A MODEST PROPOSAL FOR PARADIGM REVISION (FROM STRUCTURE, LAW, AND POWER - ESSAYS IN THE SOCIOLOGY OF LAW, 1979, BY PAUL J BRANTINGHAM AND JACK M KRESS - SEE NCJ-64050)
Author(s): W JEFFREY
Corporate Author: Sage Publications, Inc
United States of America
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 14
Sponsoring Agency: Sage Publications, Inc
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A REVISED PARADIGM FOR CONCEPTUALIZING THE LAW SHOULD FORCE SOCIAL SCIENTISTS TO MORE ACCURATELY ANALYZE HOW THE LEGAL SYSTEM WORKS AND GAUGE HUMAN RESPONSES TO CHANGES IN THE SYSTEM.
Abstract: FOR TOO LONG, SOCIAL SCIENTISTS HAVE USED THE PHRASE 'THE LAW' TO CONNOTE NOT ONLY OFFICIAL UTTERANCES WRITTEN DOWN IN STATUTE BOOKS OR AS JUDICIAL OPINIONS BUT ALSO THOSE ACTIONS TAKEN BY THE POLICE, JUDGES, COUNSELLORS, PROSECUTORY PERSONNEL, AND OTHER CRIMINAL JUSTICE AGENTS. THIS PRACTICE HAS CLOUDED THE CITIZENS' UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT THE LAW IS AND WHAT AGENTS OF THE LAW DO; IT HAS CONFUSED RESEARCH AND ANALYSIS INTO THE SOCIOLOGY OF THE LAW. THE REVISED PARADIGM WOULD REQUIRE THE TWO-WORD PHRASE 'THE LAW' TO BE USED ONLY IN REFERENCE TO THESE LEGAL INSTRUMENTS OF INFLUENCES ON MEMBERS OF A SOCIETY. OTHER STEREOTYPES AND CONCEPTS THAT NEED TO BE RE-EXAMINED ARE THE BELIEF THAT LAW IS A COMMAND THAT CRIMINAL JUSTICE AGENTS WORK TO OBEY (THESE AGENTS RATHER REACT TO AND COPE WITH A SITUATION), THAT LAW IS PRESCRIPTIVE, AND THAT LAW IS DESCRIPTIVE. CRIMINOLOGISTS AND SOCIOLOGISTS SHOULD AVERT THEIR ATTENTION FROM THE POINTLESS EXERCISE OF DETERMINING WHAT THE LAW IS AND HOW IT AFFECTS HUMANS AND CONCENTRATE INSTEAD ON WHAT THEIR FELLOW HUMANS DO TO AND WITH LEGAL RULES. FOOTNOTES ARE PROVIDED. (DAG)
Index Term(s): Criminology; Social control theory; Sociology
Note: REVISION OF PRESENTATION MADE AT THE CONVENTION OF THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF CRIMINOLOGY, DALLAS, TEXAS, 1978
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=64051

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.