Sociology of Law

Module code: M5073
Level 6
15 credits in autumn semester
Teaching method: Lecture, Seminar
Assessment modes: Essay

This module introduces students to a variety of sociological perspectives on law. It does so by focussing on materials that explore how law and legal institutions relate to broader social and economic changes. Through an analysis of some of the work of the classical sociologists of law – Karl Marx, Émile Durkheim and Max Weber – the module’s first part assesses the role played by law in the emergence of capitalism and industrial society. Thereafter, students study the relationship of law to society and the economy via an examination of some pressing contemporary issues – for example, debt, insecurity, and the marketisation of social life – and related literature.

Module learning outcomes

  • Explain and critically evaluate at least one sociological perspective on law
  • Formulate coherent written arguments when critically evaluating sociological perspectives on law.
  • Undertake independent research on a topic related to sociology of law using library resources