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NCJ Number: 64052 Find in a Library
Title: LAW AND DURKHEIMIAN ORDER - AN EMPIRICAL EXAMINATION OF THE CONVERGENCE OF LEGAL AND SOCIAL DEFINITIONS OF LAW (FROM STRUCTURE, LAW, AND POWER..., 1979, BY PAUL J BRANTINGHAM AND JACK M KRESS - SEE NCJ-64050)
Author(s): L LANZA-KADUCE; M D KROHN; M RADOSEVICH; R L AKERS
Corporate Author: Sage Publications, Inc
United States of America
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 21
Sponsoring Agency: Sage Publications, Inc
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: DURKHEIM'S THEORY OF LEGAL SOCIOLOGY WAS EXAMINED IN A STUDY OF ADOLESCENT AND COLLEGE STUDENT KNOWLEDGE ABOUT THE LAW. ATTITUDE CHANGE AND THE SOCIAL IMPACT OF CONSTITUTIONAL, CIVIL, AND CRIMINAL LAW WERE EXPLORED.
Abstract: TWO PERSPECTIVES HAVE EMERGED TO EXPLAIN THE DEFINITIONAL CONTENT OF LAW. THE DOMINANT SOCIOLOGICAL VIEW IS THAT VALUES AND ACTIONS OF SOCIETY CONFLICT WITH POWERFUL GROUPS MOST LIKELY TO SEE THEIR DEFINITIONS EMBODIED IN THE LAW. THE CONSENSUS MODEL ARGUES THAT PUBLIC POLICY AND LEGAL ENACTMENTS REFLECT A SOCIETYWIDE NORMATIVE CONSENSUS. UNLIKE MOST THEORISTS, DURKHEIM DISTINGUISHES BETWEEN TYPES OF LAW SO THAT COMPARATIVE DEFINITIONS OF CIVIL AND CRIMINAL LAW VIOLATIONS COINCIDE WITH LEGAL REALITIES. HIS ASSOCIATION BETWEEN NORMATIVE ATTITUDES AND LEGAL DEFINITIONS HAS THEORETICAL SIGNIFICANCE. DATA TO TEST DURKHEIM'S THEORY WERE DERIVED FROM JUNIOR AND SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS IN AN IOWA COMMUNITY (414 PERSONS) AND FROM COLLEGE STUDENTS ENROLLED IN INTRODUCTORY SOCIOLOGY COURSES (240 PERSONS). TWO MORE COLLEGE CLASSES WERE LATER USED TO FORM A CONTROL GROUP (120 PERSONS). THE FIRST PART OF THE QUESTIONNAIRE PRESENTED SIX VIGNETTES DESCRIBING CONDUCT WITH LEGAL RELEVANCE; LAWFUL AND UNLAWFUL ACTIVITIES WERE INCLUDED. VIGNETTES INVOLVED EXAMPLES FROM CONSTITUTIONAL, CIVIL, AND CRIMINAL AREAS OF LAW AND WERE FOLLOWED BY QUESTIONS ON MORALITY, LEGAL LEGITIMATION, LEGALITY, AND ADVOCATED SANCTION ASPECTS OF LAW. THE SECOND PART OF THE QUESTIONNAIRE EVALUATED CHANGE IN LEGITIMATION, ADVOCATED SANCTION, AND MORAL EVALUATION FOR SELECTED VIGNETTES AFTER EXPLICITLY TELLING PARTICIPANTS WHETHER BEHAVIOR WAS AGAINST THE LAW BEFORE THEY RESPONDED. MORAL CONDEMNATION IN BOTH CRIMINAL AND CONSTITUTIONAL MATTERS WAS STRONG AND MORE SEVERE THAN IN CIVIL LAW RELATIONS. LEARNING ABOUT THE LEGAL STATUS OF A NORM HAD AN IMPACT ON RELATED NORMATIVE ATTITUDES. THIS EFFECT VARIED IN TERMS OF CONSTITUTIONAL, CIVIL, OR CRIMINAL LAW. WHEN RESPONDENTS WERE INFORMED ABOUT THE EXISTENCE OF LEGAL NORMS REGULATING SPECIFIED CONDUCT, THE GREATEST EFFECT OCCURRED IN THE CIVIL LAW AREA. IT SEEMS ONCE PEOPLE LEARN SOMETHING IS AGAINST THE LAW, THEY ARE MORE LIKELY TO THINK IT SHOULD BE. RESULTS ALSO INDICATE THAT BASIC DIVISIONS OF LAW ARE NOT ARBITRARY. THESE DIVISIONS REPRESENT REAL DIFFERENCES IN NORMATIVE ORIENTATIONS THAT CATALYZE OR INHIBIT ATTITUDE CHANGE. SUPPORTING DATA AND NOTES ARE INCLUDED. (DEP)
Index Term(s): Attitudes toward authority; Criminology; Social control theory; Socialization; Sociology; Students
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=64052

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