Law and society scholars challenge the
common belief that law is simply a neutral tool by which society sets standards
and resolves disputes. Decades of research shows how much the nature of
communities, organizations, and the people inhabiting them affect how law
works. Just as much, law shapes beliefs, behaviors, and wider social
structures, but the connections are much more nuanced—and surprising—than many
Law and Society
provides readers an accessible overview to the breadth of recent developments
in this research tradition, bringing to life the developments in this dynamic
field. Following up a first Law and
Society Reader published in 1995, editors Erik W. Larson and Patrick D.
Schmidt have compiled excerpts of 43 illuminating articles published since 1993
in The Law & Society Review, the
flagship journal of the Law and Society Association.
By its organization
and approach, this volume enables readers to join in discussing the key ideas
of law and society research. The selections highlight the core insights and
developments in this research tradition, making these works indispensable for
those exploring the field and ideal for classroom use. Across six
concisely-introduced sections, this volume analyzes inequality, lawyering, the
relation between law and organizations, and the place of law in relation to
other social institutions.
In this volume Larson and Schmidt have creatively captured the spirit and diversity of law and society research published over the last 20+ years.