The Social Organization of Law: Introductory Readings

Paperback | April 15, 2004

byAustin SaratForeword bySally Engle Merry

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Austin Sarat's The Social Organization of Law: Introductory Readings begins with a simple premise--law seeks to work in the world, to order, change, and give meaning to society--and describes legal processes as socially organized. This book connects legal studies to the study of society in twodifferent senses. First, the readings highlight law's responsiveness to various dimensions of social stratification. They also draw attention to the questions of when, why, and how legal decisions and actions respond to the social characteristics (e.g. race, class, and gender) of those making the decisions as wellas those who are subject to them. These questions inevitably raise issues of justice and fairness, highlighting the moral dimensions of legal life. Second, Sarat treats law itself as a social organization, emphasizing the complex relations between its various component parts (e.g., judges and jurors, police and prosecutors, appellate courts, and trial courts). The book examines the traditional subject of professional legal study--namelyappellate court opinions--and describes some of the most pressing controversies of legal interpretation while questioning how those opinions take on meaning in social life. Sarat also questions whether those at the top of law's bureaucratic structure effectively control the behavior of others in thelegal system's chain of command. This anthology provides accessible, up-to-date materials (such as readings on terrorism and the challenges it poses to law, racial profiling, and gay rights) juxtaposed to the classics of the field. Introductions to each reading, along with the notes and questions written by the author, unpack theissues and engage students, enabling them to link the material from one chapter to another. Additional suggested readings provide stimulus for further inquiry. The Social Organization of Law offers students a broad perspective that treats law as a set of institutions and practices combining moral argument, distinctive interpretive traditions, and the social organization of violence.

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Austin Sarat's The Social Organization of Law: Introductory Readings begins with a simple premise--law seeks to work in the world, to order, change, and give meaning to society--and describes legal processes as socially organized. This book connects legal studies to the study of society in twodifferent senses. First, the readings highl...

Austin Sarat is at Amherst College.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:596 pages, 7.01 × 9.21 × 1.42 inPublished:April 15, 2004Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019533034X

ISBN - 13:9780195330342

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Table of Contents

IntroductionPart I. When Law FailsSection 1. The Limits of Legal Protection1. 'Hockey Dad's Death Probed as Homicide,' Ed Hayward and David Talbot2. 'Dad Sentenced to 6 to 10 Years for Rink Death,' Geraldine Baum3. DeShaney v. Winnebago4. 'A Crime of Self Defense,' George Fletcher5. 'In the Nation's Capital, It's the Season of Insecurity,' Jon Schmitz, Pittsburgh PostGazette6. 'The Spirit of the Laws,' Harold KohSection 2. What Law Is For7. 'Leviathan,' Thomas Hobbes8. 'Law as a Weapon in Social Conflict,' Austin Turk9. 'On Liberty,' John Stuart Mill10. Lawrence v. Texas11. 'Law as Rhetoric, Rhetoric as Law,' James Boyd WhitePart II. The Search for LawSection 3. Three Dilemmas of Social OrganizationAccessibility12. 'Before the Law,' Franz KafkaSeverity and Leniency13. 'Property, Authority and the Criminal Law,' Douglas HayBureaucratic Control and Rule Following14. 'Violence and the Word,' Robert CoverPart III. Access to Justice: The Demand for Law and Law's DemandsSection 4. Lining Up at the Door of Law15. 'The Emergence and Transformation of Disputes,' William Felstiner, Richard Abel,16. 'Liability: The Legal Revolution and Its Consequences,' Peter Huber17. 'The Crisis Is Injuries, Not Liability,' Richard Abel18. 'How Jury Decided How Much the Coffee Spill Was Worth,' Andrea Gerling19. 'Jurors' Judgments of Business Liability in Tort Cases,' Valerie Hans and WilliamLoftquistSection 5. Lawyers in Civil Cases20. 'Lawyers and Consumer Protection Laws,' Stewart Macaulay21. 'The Justice Broker: Lawyers and Ordinary Litigation,' Hebert Kritzer22. 'The Impact of Legal Counsel on Outcomes for Poor Tenants in New York City'sHousing Court,' Carroll Seron, et. al.Section 6. Whose Law Is It Anyway?23. Rusk v. Maryland24. 'Rape,' Susan Estrich25. 'Risking Relationships,' Phoebe Morgan26. 'Rights Talk and the Experience of Law,' Sally Engle MerrySection 7. Who Speaks and Who Is Heard: The Continuing Significance of Class27. Goldberg v. Kelley28. 'Subordination, Rhetorical Survival Skills, and Sunday Shoes,' Lucie White29. 'Dependency by Law,' Frank MungerPart IV. Severity and Leniency: Administering a System of Discretionary JusticeSection 8. From Severity to Leniency: Plea Bargaining and the Possibility of Justice30. 'American Courts: Process and Policy,' Lawrence Baum31. Scott v. United States32. 'Torture and Plea Bargaining,' John LangbeinSection 9. Lawyers in Criminal Cases33. 'Convictability and Discordant Locales,' Lisa Frohmann34. 'Understanding Lawyers' Ethics,' Monroe Freedman and Abbe Smith35. 'Fine Line in Indictment: Defense vs. Complicity,' Laura Mansnerus36. 'Defending White Collar Crime,' Kenneth Mann37. 'The Practice of Law as a Confidence Game,' Abraham S. BlumbergSection 10. Juries in Criminal Cases: Biased or Conscientious Judgment38. 'Trial By Jury,' Alex de Tocqueville39. 'Are Twelve Heads Better Than One?' Phoebe Ellsworth40. 'Jury Duty: When History and Life Coincide,' Elisabeth Perry41. 'When Race Trumps Truth in Court,' Michael Weiss and Karl Zinsmeister42. United States v. ThomasSection 11. Sentencing43. 'Federal Sentencing Guidelines: A View From the Bench,' Nancy Gertner44. Ewing v. California45. 'Thirty Years of Sentencing Reform,' Cassia Spohn46. 'Sizing up Sentences,' Michael HigginsPart V. Organizing Law's ViolenceSection 12. Policing the Police47. 'Justice Without Trial,' Jerome Skolnick48. 'Broken Windows,' James Q. Wilson and George Kelling49. 'Policing Disorder,' Bernard Harcourt50. 'Profiles in Justice? Police Discretion, Symbolic Assailants, and Stereotyping,'Milton Heumann and Lance Cassak51. 'The Myth of Racial Profiling,' Heather MacDonald52. Tennessee v. Garner53. 'Officers in Bronx Fire 41 Shots, and an Unarmed Man Is Killed,' Michael Cooper,New York Times54. 'To Shoot or Not? Fellow Officers Say They Fear Facing Same Decision,' KatherineFinkelstein, New York Times55. 'Want to Torture? Get a Warrant,' Alan M. DershowitzSection 13. Punishment: Imprisonment56. 'Persons and Punishment,' Herbert Morris57. 'Punishment, Power, and Justice,' Patricia Ewick58. United States v. Bailey59. 'Deadly Symbiosis: Rethinking Race and Imprisonment in Twenty-First CenturyAmerica,' Loic WacquantSection 14. The Death Penalty: Controlling Juries/Preventing Discrimination60. Furman v. Georgia61. Gregg v. Georgia62. McClesky v. Kemp63. 'Folk Knowledge as Legal Action,' Benjamin Steiner, et. al.Section 15. The Future of Capital Punishment64. 'God's Justice and Ours,' Antonin Scalia65. 'I Must Act,' George Ryan