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Course Details

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
11/30/20 - 04/30/21 05/03/21 - 06/27/21 Spring 2021 Session I 8 Week session

Current Syllabi

After completing this course the student will be able to:

  • 1. Compare and contrast legal jurisprudence with the sociology of law.
    2. Describe the theoretical traditions that spurred the development of a sociology of law.
    3. Demonstrate knowledge of the concept of hegemony and explain how hegemony makes the law seem legitimate, fair, and just.
    4. Assess the main arguments of Critical Race Theory.
    5. Explain the concept of legal pluralism and offer examples of legal pluralism seen in the United States.
    6. Analyze the ways in which race, class, and structural dilemmas faced by policymakers and enforcement agents have led to the selective enforcement of law and discuss the consequences of this.
    7. Analyze the conditions under which the law can usher in real social change.
    8. Describe the transformation in policing, surveillance, and punishment from the 16th century through to modern times.
    9. Produce a social scientific analysis of a sociology of law research question.


Participation in classroom dialogue on threaded Discussions is required some weeks of class. Initial Discussion posts are due Thursdays, peer responses are due Sundays. Instructions and specific grading rubrics are found under the Discussions tab in our classroom.

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.

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

Our E-Books in APA format:
  1. Calavita, K. (2010). Invitation to Law & Society: An Introduction to the Study of Real Law. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
  2. Deflem, M. (2008). Sociology of Law: Visions of a Scholarly Tradition. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Our 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
  9. Deflem, M., & Chicoine, S. (2011). The sociological discourse on human rights: Lessons from the sociology of law. Development and Society, 40(1), 101-115. Retrieved from
  10. Regoeczi, W. C., & Kent, S. (2014). Race, poverty, and the traffic ticket cycle. Policing, 37(1), 190-205. Retrieved from
  11. Weyers, H. (2006). Explaining the emergence of euthanasia law in the Netherlands: how the sociology of law can help the sociology of bioethics. Sociology of Health & Illness, 28(6), 805-816. Retrieved from
Book Title:Sociology of Law: Visions of a Scholarly Tradition, 2008 Ed. -e-book available online, please visit to locate the course eReserve.
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 - e-book available online, please visit to locate the course eReserve.
Unit Cost:$13.05
Book Title:Various resources from the APUS Library & the Open Web are used. Please visit to locate the course eReserve.*

Previous Syllabi

Not current for future courses.