Originally published in 1974, this book looks at the general problems regarding the sociology of law. It describes the various methods of sociological research which may be applied in the field of sociology of law and shows their advantages and empirical limitations. It discusses the number and complexity of the problems connected with law, problems which are often disregarded by the traditional state and law theory. The book elucidates basic theoretical concepts including anomie, conformity, legalism, the legal norm – which are fundamental to the sociology of law. Some essential problems concerned with the politics of law are also discussed.

    Part 1: Contemporary Sociology of Law 1. Background 2. Defining the Sociology of Law Part 2: Research Methods in the Sociology of Law 3. The Historical Method 4. The Ethnographic Approach by Jacek Kurczewski 5. Questionnaire and Interview Methods 6. The Monographic Method 7. The Experimental Method 8. The Statistical Method 9. Analysis of Legal Materials Part 3: Theoretical Considerations 10. The Concept of a Legal Norm 11. Anomie, Conformism, Legalism 12. Theories of the Functioning Law Part 4: Legal Policy 13. The Concept of Legal Policy as a Science 14. Effectiveness of the Law in Operation Part 5: A Synthesis 15. Towards a General Theory in the Sociology of Law.


    Adam Podgórecki (1925–1998) was a sociologist and one of the founders of the Research Committee on Sociology of Law. Podgórecki was also one of the founders of the first institute at Warsaw University which was devoted to the social scientific studies of law.