A General Jurisprudence of Law and Society

Paperback | June 15, 2001

byBrian Z. Tamanaha

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"A General Jurisprudence of Law and Society" is a theoretical and sociological exploration of the relationship between law and society. Law is generally understood to be a mirror of society--a reflection of its customs and morals--that functions to maintain social order. Focusing on thiscommon understanding, the book conducts a survey of Western legal and social theories about law and its relationship within society. It then engages in a theoretical and empirical critique of this common understanding. The theoretical critique exposes the mythical quality of the two most oftenrepeated theories about the emergence of law, the evolutionary theory and the social contract theory. It also discusses a fundamental shift, resulting from Enlightenment ideas about reason and morality, in the theoretical understanding of the relationship between morality and law. The empiricalcritique covers various subjects, primarily including the impact of legal transplantation and globalization. Brian Z. Tamanaha then constructs an alternative universally applicable framework with which to understand the relationship between law and society. The core component to this framework is a non-essentialist approach to the concept of law, which provides a basis for understanding of thephenomenon of legal pluralism. Finally, the book articulates how this framework would operate in facilitating our ability to study, understand, and criticize the relationship between law and society in a variety of contexts around the world today. In addition to illuminating the relationship between law and society, a keyaspect of the argument of this book is to construct an approach to law that integrates legal theory with sociological approaches to law.

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"A General Jurisprudence of Law and Society" is a theoretical and sociological exploration of the relationship between law and society. Law is generally understood to be a mirror of society--a reflection of its customs and morals--that functions to maintain social order. Focusing on thiscommon understanding, the book conducts a surve...

Brian Z. Tamanaha is Professor of Law at St John's Univerity School of Law, New York

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:284 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.63 inPublished:June 15, 2001Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199244677

ISBN - 13:9780199244676

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Table of Contents

1. The Framework2. Law and Society in Western Legal and Social Theory3. Loosening the Hold of the Mirror Thesis4. Against the Mirror Thesis5. A Socio-Legal Positivist Approach to Law6. A Non-Essentialist Legal Pluralism7. Elements of a General JurisprudenceIndex

Editorial Reviews

`Tamanaha's study of the literature contains valuable observations and arguments of interest ... useful insights.'Law Quarterly Review