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SOCI422 - Sociology of the Law

Course Details

Course Code: SOCI422 Course ID: 3706 Credit Hours: 3 Level: Undergraduate

This course is a study of law, law-making, law-enforcement, and legal systems in social life. Course content focuses on the American legal system from a sociological perspective--its origins, development, and current format, and examines the sources of the legal tradition, the function of legislation in society, and current trends in the social construction of norms. The course investigates the human need for social order and conflict resolution, and how that takes shape in the social world.

Course Schedule

Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
11/26/18 - 05/03/19 05/06/19 - 06/30/19 Spring 2019 Session I 8 Week session
02/25/19 - 08/02/19 08/05/19 - 09/29/19 Summer 2019 Session I 8 Week session

Current Syllabi

After completing this course the student will be able to:

  • Compare and contrast legal jurisprudence with the sociology of law.
  • Describe the academic domain of the sociology of law.
  • Compare and contrast the works of Max Weber, Emile Durkheim, and Karl Marx in terms of their contributions to the sociology of law.
  • Produce an outline showing how a belief in rational-legal authority impacts behavior toward the law.
  • Describe the influence of religion on the formation of law.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the concept of hegemony and explain how hegemony makes the law seem legitimate, fair, and just.
  • Assess the main arguments of Critical Race Theory.
  • Provide an overview of Critical Legal Studies.
  • Produce a short essay on how Critical Race Theory socially constructs categories of race.
  • Describe the meaning of Intersectionality.
  • Evaluate how imprisonment is related to the political power of African-Americans.
  • Explain the concept of legal pluralism and offer examples of legal pluralism seen in the United States.
  • Evaluate the problems involved with people targeting and offer examples of the consequences of this type of law enforcement.
  • Analyze the ways in which race, class, and structural dilemmas faced by policymakers and enforcement agents have led to the selective enforcement of law.
  • Analyze the conditions under which the law can usher in real social change.
  • Explain why court decisions are more likely to be successful if they are in step with the cultural norms of the day.
  • Illustrate your knowledge of social science research methodology and analysis.

This course includes Quizzes, located under the Tests & Quizzes tab in the classroom. Quizzes are designed to facilitate engagement with the course textbook.

Participation in classroom dialogue on threaded Forums is required. Forums are scheduled weekly and found in the Forums tab in the classroom. Initial Forum posts are due Thursdays, peer responses are due Sundays. Specific instructions and the grading rubric are located on each Forum.

This course includes Assignments. Instructions and specific grading rubrics are found under the Assignments tab in our classroom.

Extra Credit:

Extra credit is not offered in this course.

Text: we are using an ebook for this course.

Calavita, Kitty. (2010) Invitation to Law & Society: An Introduction to the Study of Real Law. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. Retrieved from

Please visit and search by the course number (ex: SOCI422) to access your required resources.

SOCI422 E-Book Information

You have the following viewing options for the following course textbook:

Calavita, Invitation to Law and Society: An Introduction to the Study of Real Law

For example:

  1. You can use the URL link(s)* below;
  2. Or, select the URL link(s)* from the Web Resources module in the navigation menu of your classroom, if available.
  3. Or, use the links in the library’s online catalog. To find the book from the catalog :
  1. Select the ‘Books and e-Books’ link
  2. If you have not utilized Library e-books, please take a moment to read about the different formats and vendors of our e-books.
  3. When ready, select the ‘Online Book Catalog’ link
  4. Click Continue to advance to the Catalog search page
  5. Search by the book’s title and/or author information to find your e-book most effectively.
  6. Once you bring up the appropriate record, the links to each vendor e-book copy are displayed.
  7. Depending on your needs and the availability of the e-book, you may want to click between all of them to find the copy most suitable for you. Printing and downloading options will vary depending on vendor allowances.

*Each of the URLs gives you different ways to look at the book.

  • Download or Online Reading: EBL—You can read online, check-out the book to your computer for 1 or 3 days at a time and also print roughly 20% of the content.

Another way to view the e-book - this link will bring you to three links for our e-book:

If you encounter difficulties viewing the e-book, please visit the HELP/FAQs section of the Online Library. If you still have questions, please contact for assistance.

Please Note: Stateside students will not be sent the hard copy version of this text. If you wish to purchase the text, you may do so through our recommended bookstore MBS Direct or the bookseller of your choice.

Library Readings:

1. Aubert, V. (1963). Researches in the sociology of law. The American Behavioral Scientist (Pre-1986), 7, 16-16. Retrieved from

2. Likhovski, A. (1999). Protestantism and the rationalization of english law: A variation on a theme by weber. Law & Society Review, 33(2), 365-365. Retrieved from

3. Litowitz, D. (2000). Gramsci, hegemony, and the law. Brigham Young University Law Review, 2000(2), 515-551. Retrieved from

4. Carbado, D. W., & Gulati, M. (2003). The law and economics of critical race theory. The Yale Law Journal, 112(7), 1757-1757. Retrieved from

5. Pimentel, D. (2010). Can indigenous justice survive? legal pluralism and the rule of law. Harvard International Review, 32(2), 32-36. Retrieved from

6. Garrison, A. H. (2011). Disproportionate incarceration of african americans: What history and the first decade of twenty-first century have brought. Journal of the Institute of Justice and International Studies, (11), 87-X. Retrieved from

7. Kostiner, I. (2003). Evaluating legality: Toward a cultural approach to the study of law and social change. Law & Society Review, 37(2), 323-368. Retrieved from

8. Calavita, K. (2001). Blue jeans, rape, and the "de-constitutive" power of law. Law & Society Review, 35(1), 89-115. Retrieved from

Book Title:Sociology of Law: Visions of a Scholarly Tradition, 2008 Ed. - eBook available in the APUS Online Library.
Publication Info:Cambridge University Press
Author:Mathieu Deflem
Unit Cost:$38.26
Book Title:Invitation to Law and Society: An Introduction to the Study of Real Law - EBook Available in the APUS Online Library; hard copy not available from the APUS Bookstore, please try other sources.
Unit Cost:$13.05
Book Title:To find the library e-book(s) req'd for your course, please visit to locate the eReserve by course #. You must be logged in to eCampus first to access the links.
Author: No Author Specified

Previous Syllabi

Not current for future courses.