California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Soka University Japan - Transcend Art and Peace
Created: July 27, 2003
Latest Update: September 27, 2007
You will be held accountable for the readings and discussion questions listed here. There will be no "testing." That means that you will not have to live in anxious anticipation of what we will ask and how much you will have to know. Instead, we will provide weekly discussion questions, lectures, essays, and concepts we feel that you should know as a result of having taken this course. You will assure us of that learning and receive your grade for the questions and concepts about which you choose to write and talk with us. In addition you will find detailed explanations and examples on our grading policies in the first week's reading.
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Week 5: Week of September 30, 2007
- If you do not have your "First Meeting" scheduled, see me ASAP!!.
- Friday, October 5th -- Bring crayons, markers or color pencils to class.
- Monday, October 15th through Monday, October 22nd -- First Meetings
- Wednesday, October 24th -- Midterm Visual Projects due
- Friday, October 26th -- Last Day to Drop a Semester-long Class
Topic: Theoretical Perspectives: Structural Functionalism/Law and Values
- Bonsignore . Before the Law. Chapter 3.
- Bellow and Minow. Law Stories. -- .
- Curran and Takata. Sociology of Law Handbook:
-- Chapter 1, part 1
-- Chapter 1, part 2
-- Chapter 2
Lecture related links:
- "Who's Habermas? Why Habermas?"
- W.I. Thomas "Definition of the Situation
- Those Infamous Grades and Letters of Recommendation
- "The Case Against Gold Stars" by Alfie Kohn.
Concepts to be covered:
- morals and values
- structural functionalism
- normative consensus
- social order
- Emile Durkheim
- Robert Merton
- manifest and latent function
Note: In order to answer these questions, you must do the assigned readings for this week.
- Is becoming a lawyer like becoming a sorcerer? Are incoming values kept intact with the professional expertise accompanying law simply added to what a person was before the study of law or is there more of a top-to-bottom shift that accompanies becoming a lawyer? (Bonsignore, p.55, Q. 4).
- What problems do professionals encounter when they go wherever problems take them? For example: Should Dr. Flannery simply treat black lung or other occupationally related diseases, or must she become active in preventive medicine - mine safety, and environmental health? (Bonsignore, p. 55, Q.2a).
- Dr. Flannery does not seem like a member of the country club set. Must she accept less income than her professional peers if she is to work with the poor? (Bonsignore, p. 56, Q. 4).
- ... How might Marshall answer these newer "economic" arguments in favor of a revised, extended, and expedited death penalty; or the opinion polls that seem to give overwhelming support to the death penalty "without all the appeals"? Was Marshall talking to a less hardened population at the time he wrote his opinion than the current populace? (Bonsignore, p. 68, Q. 5).
- In Chapter 2, on judging and discretion, there was some discussion of the role of intuition in decisions. Does the vivid description of an execution give rise to certain intuitions or evaluations that require no special philosophizing or gathering of pros and cons? What reactions does Orwell want to excite in his readers? Which of his images are most effective in bringing us closer to the events he wants us to understand? (Bonsignore, p. 78, Q.1).
Suggested Visual Projects:
Note: Start thinking about ideas for your creative measures. Must relate to "law and society" Must be approved before starting your creative measure. Cannot be something that you are doing or have done for another course. Research cannot be 100% online (i.e., google, askjeeves). Must conduct library research using scholarly works, (not the popular press -- Time Magazine, Newsweek, Sports Illustrated). A bibliography must be attached to your visual presentation. No term papers! Allow time to dialogue and present your creative measure in class. Email me your ideas ASAP.
- Select a controversial legal issue (i.e., death penalty, abortion) and examine the relationship between law and values.
- Explore the unintended consequences of a policy such as "three-strikes," determinate sentencing, etc.
- Emile Durkheim. The Division of Labor in Society.
- Robert Merton. Social Theory and Social Structure.
--- Jurgen Habermas. Between Facts and Norms.
--- Martha Minow. Making All the Difference: Exclusion, Inclusion and American Law. Check out this link Martha Minow on the Dear Habermas site.