1st Edition

Law and Society An Introduction

By John Harrison Watts, Cliff Roberson Copyright 2014
    350 Pages
    by Routledge

    350 Pages
    by Routledge

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    In recent years, legal studies courses have increased the focus on contemporary social issues as part of the curriculum. Law and Society: An Introduction discusses the interface between these two institutions and encourages students in the development of new insights on the topic. The book begins by introducing definitions, classifications, and the concept of the "rule of law." It then explores:

    • Principal legal systems, including common law, civil law, Islamic and socialist systems, and American Indian law

    • Feminist legal theories, critical race theory, and the roles of morality and values in social control

    • The contributions of sociological research and its impact on the law

    • Court systems and procedures, the exclusionary rule, and plea bargaining

    • The nature and process of legislative, administrative, and judicial lawmaking

    • Alternative dispute resolution and international arbitration and mediation

    • The law as a mechanism for social changes, such as those brought on by the 1964 Civil Rights Act

    • Issues related to the legal profession and professional responsibility

    This text eliminates the need for a separate reader by also discussing controversial legal topics—including affirmative action, education, the death penalty, right to work laws, and abortion. Each chapter builds on the previous ones and includes concrete examples of the issues involved. Enhanced by chapter summaries of salient points, review questions, and practical exercises, the book is designed to encourage students in the development of new insights into the relationships between law and society.

    An Overview of Law and Society. Legal Systems. Social Research Methods. Legal Structures. Social Control. Lawmaking as a Form of Social Control. Dispute Resolution. Social Change and Law. Lawyers. Private Life and the Law. Crime and Justice Issues. Labor Issues and the Law. Index.


    Harrison Watts, Ph.D., is an associate professor in the Criminal Justice and Legal Studies Department at Washburn University, Topeka, Kansas. Harrison’s research interests are in legal issues surrounding criminal law. He is the author of numerous book chapters, journal articles, and instructors’ resource manuals to accompany textbooks.

    Cliff Roberson LLM, Ph.D., is an emeritus professor of criminal justice at Washburn University, Topeka, Kansas. Previously he served for four years as the editor in chief of the Professional Issues in Criminal Justice Journal. In 2009, a research study conducted by a group of professors from Sam Houston State University determined that Cliff Roberson was the leading criminal justice author in the United States based on his publications and their relevance to the profession [See Southwest Journal of Criminal Justice, Vol. 6, Issue 1, 2009]. He has authored or co-authored over 50 books and texts on legal subjects.