3rd Edition

Law and Society An Introduction

By Steven Barkan Copyright 2023
    266 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    266 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The new third edition of Law and Society provides a balanced, multidisciplinary, and comprehensive overview of law as an essential social institution that both shapes and is shaped by society. Between this book’s covers, readers will find the theoretical and conceptual contributions of anthropologists, historians, law professors, political scientists, philosophers, psychologists, and sociologists. By synthesizing this wide range of perspectives, the book provides readers with a nuanced and in-depth context to think about, discuss, and analyze current trends, issues, and events. Through this book, readers will also grasp the many ways law affects the lives of individuals and, more generally, how law and society affect each other in matters such as dispute settlement, criminal law, social movements, inequality, and social control.

    The third edition is brought up to date with the helpful reorganization of chapters. Separate chapters exploring how we define law, the differences among the major families of law, and dispute processing make the textbook more readable and adaptable to specific course objectives. Thorough revisions across the chapters reflect the latest sociolegal perspectives and research and include many new references and contemporary examples to help students appreciate a wide range of law and society issues. This thoughtful and stimulating introduction to the field is ideal for advanced undergraduate courses in Law and Society and Introduction to Law.

    Preface  Chapter 1. The Social Nature and Significance of Law  Chapter 2. Defining Law  Chapter 3. Understanding Law and Society: Early Approaches and Contemporary Perspectives  Chapter 4. Families of Law  Chapter 5. Types of Law  Chapter 6. Law and Dispute Processing  Chapter 7. Dispute Processing in the United States  Chapter 8. Law and Social Control  Chapter 9. Law and Social Change  Chapter 10. Law and Inequality  Chapter 11. The Legal Profession  Chapter 12. Courts and Juries  Glossary  Index


    Steven E. Barkan is Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the University of Maine. Over his career, his teaching and research interests have included criminology, the sociology of law, and social movements. In addition to his many publications in these areas, Professor Barkan is past president of the Society for the Study of Social Problems (SSSP), served as chair of the SSSP’s Law and Society Division and on the council of the American Sociological Association’s Sociology of Law Section, and is past president of the Textbook and Academic Authors Association. Most recently, he published the eighth edition of Criminology: A Sociological Understanding (Pearson 2023), the updated second edition of Health, Illness, and Society: An Introduction to Medical Sociology (Rowman & Littlefield 2023), and the third edition of Sociology: Understanding and Changing the World (FlatWorld 2021).

    "The publication of Steven Barkan’s third edition of Law and Society: An Introduction should be a welcome development by anyone interested in this field. I have been using Dr. Barkan’s book for several years and the vast majority of my students have always found the text clear, engaging, and informative. The third edition once again delivers on clarity and employs up-to-date examples that highlight the interaction between law and society. Key themes—including law and social control, law and social change, and law and inequality—are explained thoroughly and rigorously. Dr. Barkan manages to do this without overwhelming students/readers with minutiae."
    Luigi Esposito, Barry University