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SUMMARY

  • 1. In a historical context, legal development, industrialization, urbanization, and modernization are closely intertwined. Thee traditional, transitional, and modern legal systems all reflect this context and are still present in the world's societies.
  • 2. Many of the European pioneers discussed reacted in various ways to the influence of natural law and attempted to account for it from an evolutionary perspective. The classical sociological theorists recognized the essential role of legal institutions in the social order and made important explorations of the interplay between law and society. The sociolegal theorists were guided by social science principles in the development of their diverse perspectives on law and society.
  • 3. Sociologists embracing the functionalist approach attempt to account for law in society within the overall framework of the theory that society consists of interrelated parts that work together to maintain internal balance. Sociologists advocating conflict and Marxist approaches to the study of law in society consider conflict inevitable and ubiquitous in societies, as a result of inescapable competition for scarce resources.
  • 4. Proponents of the critical legal studies movement argue that there is nothing inherently rational, scientific, or neutral about the law—nothing that would dictate the outcome of a particular case. They maintain that law is riddled with contradiction and prejudice and that it is heavily in favor of the wealthy and powerful.
  • 5. Feminist legal theory challenges impartiality of law in dealing with women and argues that law reflects male privilege, power, and culture. Feminists rely on feminist methods that seek to reveal aspects of law that more traditional methods tend to ignore or suppress.
  • 6. Critical race theory argues that the roots of racial inequality still persist in American society, embedded in law, language, perception and structural conditions, and that there must be an uncompromising search for real solutions rather than convenient stopgaps.
 
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