▪ Abstract 

Law and society, though not a field in itself, is the object of a growing movement that studies legal systems using tools of social science. Founded by sociologists, the movement now includes representatives of all the social sciences. It has developed strong organizations in the United States and in a number of other countries. Its adherents share a number of basic assumptions; they reject extreme ideas of legal autonomy and stress instead the dependence of law on its social context. Key components of the legal order, and thus key objects of study, are substance, procedures, structures, and legal culture. Scholars focus on the actual forces that produce law and on the impact of legal interventions. Sanctions, the peer group, and the internal moral sense are among the factors that determine actual impact. Much has been accomplished in the field, although much remains to be done, and translating findings into policy is often quite problematic.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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