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Law, Justice, and Society: A Sociolegal Introduction

Fifth Edition

Anthony Walsh and Craig Hemmens

Publication Date - 01 July 2019

ISBN: 9780190843946

528 pages

In Stock

The best introduction to law and society, with a sociolegal approach featuring coverage of gender, race, class, and comparative law


An accessible and lively introduction to the field, Law, Justice, and Society: A Sociolegal Introduction, Fifth Edition, explores the relationship between legal systems and other social institutions using a distinctive sociological point of view. Anthony Walsh and Craig Hemmens provide detailed discussions of the various ways in which law impacts people based on race, class, gender, and age while also introducing students to the origins of the law, the history and development of the American legal system, the sociology of law, court structure, and the difference between civil and criminal law.

New to this Edition

  • Updated case examples
  • An "Issue Highlight" feature in each chapter that provides a pro/con argument surrounding a contemporary issue, like sanctuary cities, bathroom laws, regulation reduction, and religious accommodations
  • A list of key terms at the end of each chapter
  • Increased coverage of juvenile issues
  • Additional visual material

About the Author(s)

Anthony Walsh is a Professor in the Department of Criminal Justice at Boise State University.

Craig Hemmens is a Professor in the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology at Washington State University.


"This book nicely blends the disciplines of criminal justice, law, political science, and sociology. It offers a broad range of topics with in-depth coverage, and gives instructors the tools needed to understand today's substantive debates about the future of law, law enforcement, and criminal justice reforms."--Samuel Lucas McMillan, Lander University

"Law, Justice, and Society is very accessible to students. It presents the material in a clear and engaging way, and I found the chapters to be interesting and on point. I also appreciate its affordability."--Susan Maggioni, MassBay Community College

"Law, Justice, and Society covers a wide variety of complex topics in a manner that is easily understood. I've used the book four times and plan on using it again."--David Allender, Butler University

Table of Contents


    Chapter 1. LAW: Its Function and Purpose
    What Is Law?
    The Six Primary Characteristics of Culture and Their Relationship to Law
    1. Beliefs
    2. Values
    3. Norms
    4. Symbols
    5. Technology
    6. Language
    The Code of Hammurabi
    Early Thinkers About Law
    Thomas Hobbes
    John Locke
    John Rawls
    Sociological Perspectives of Law
    Max Weber
    Émile Durkheim
    Two Opposing Perspectives: Consensus and Conflict
    The Consensus Perspective
    The Conflict Perspective
    Discussion Questions

    Chapter 2. Justice and the Law
    What Is Justice?
    Distributive Justice
    Retributive Justice
    Problems with Aristotle's Definition of Justice
    Legal Realism
    Where Does Justice Come From? Two Perspectives of Law and Justice as Natural
    The Transcendental Natural Law Perspective
    The Evolutionary Perspective
    What Is the Relationship of Law to Justice?
    An Example of an Equity Decision
    Garofalo and Natural Crime
    The Rule of Law
    Justice Evolving: Cesare Beccaria and Reform
    Herbert Packer's Models of Criminal Justice
    The Crime Control Model
    The Due Process Model
    An Illustration of the Models in Action
    Discussion Questions
    Cases Cited

    Chapter 3. Making Law
    Common Law
    Precedent and Stare Decisis
    Sources of Law
    Sources of Individual Rights
    The Constitution
    The Bill of Rights
    First Amendment
    Second Amendment
    Third Amendment
    Fourth Amendment
    Fifth Amendment
    Sixth Amendment
    Seventh Amendment
    Eighth Amendment
    Ninth Amendment
    Tenth Amendment
    Other Amendments
    Thirteenth Amendment
    Fourteenth Amendment
    Standard of Review
    Incorporation of the Bill of Rights in the Fourteenth Amendment
    Judicial Review
    Marbury v. Madison
    The Process of Amending the Constitution
    Discussion Questions
    Cases Cited

    Chapter 4. Federal and State Courts
    The Federal Courts
    District Courts
    Courts of Appeals
    Supreme Court
    The State Courts
    Overview of the Criminal Process
    The Jury and Its Selection
    Jury Selection
    The Trial
    Court Actors
    Defense Attorneys
    The Legal Profession
    Discussion Questions
    Cases Cited

    Chapter 5. Crime and Criminal Law
    What Is Crime?
    Sources of Criminal Law
    Limitations on Criminal Law
    Elements of Criminal Liability
    Common Elements of Criminal Offenses
    Liability Without Fault
    Inchoate Crimes
    Parties to Crime
    Defenses to Criminal Liability
    Justification Defenses
    Excuse Defenses
    Procedural Defenses: Entrapment
    Crimes Against the Person
    Forcible Rape
    Aggravated Assault
    Crimes Against Property
    Crimes Against Public Order and Morality
    Discussion Questions
    Cases Cited

    Chapter 6. Criminal Procedure
    Purpose of Criminal Procedure Law
    Sources of Criminal Procedure Law
    Search and Seizure Law and the Fourth Amendment
    The Warrant and Reasonableness Clauses
    Probable Cause
    When an Officer May Arrest
    Manner of Arrest
    Types of Seizures
    Reasonable Expectation of Privacy
    Exceptions to the Search Warrant Requirement
    Right to the Assistance of Counsel
    Right to Counsel During Interrogations and Pretrial Identification Procedures
    Circumstances in Which Miranda Is Not Required
    Extension and Application of the Miranda Warnings
    Pretrial Identification Procedures
    The Confrontation of Witnesses Clause
    The Right to Compulsory Process Clause
    The Exclusionary Rule
    Advancing Toward the Exclusionary Rule
    Curtailing the Exclusionary Rule
    Discussion Questions
    Cases Cited

    Chapter 7. Civil and Administrative Law
    Differentiating Criminal and Civil Law
    Tort Law
    Tort Categories
    Defenses to Liability
    Tort Reform
    Property Law
    Interests in Real Property
    Interests in Personal Property
    Contract Law
    Elements of a Valid Contract
    Family Law
    Who May Marry Whom?
    The Supreme Court and the Right to Marry
    The Road to Same-Sex Marriage
    Common Law Marriage
    Divorce and Annulment
    Dividing Property, Child Custody, and Spousal Support
    Administrative Law
    Origins and Growth of Administrative Agencies
    Legislative Function of Administrative Agencies
    Investigatory and Enforcement Function of Administrative Agencies
    Judicial Function of Administrative Agencies
    Administrative Law and Corporate Crime
    Recent Responses to Corporate Crime
    Environmental Law
    The Development of Environmental Laws and Regulations
    Enforcement of Environmental Laws
    Environmental Crime
    Discussion Questions
    Cases Cited

    Chapter 8. Juvenile Justice
    What Is Juvenile Delinquency?
    The Extent of Delinquency
    Developmental Factors and Juvenile Delinquency
    History and Philosophy of Juvenile Justice
    Institutional Control
    Childhood in the United States
    The Child Savers
    The Beginning of the Juvenile Courts
    Juvenile Waiver to Criminal Court
    Extending Due Process to Juveniles
    Kent v. United States
    In re Gault
    In re Winship
    McKeiver v. Pennsylvania
    Breed v. Jones
    Schall v. Martin
    Graham v. Florida
    Miller v. Alabama 212
    The Juvenile Death Penalty
    Eroding the Distinction Between Adult and Juvenile Court Systems
    Restorative Justice
    Discussion Questions
    Cases Cited

    Chapter 9. The Law and Social Control
    What Is Social Control?
    A Typology of Social Control
    The Law as a Social Control Mechanism
    Punishment and Deterrence
    Other Philosophies of Punishment
    Black's Styles of Social Control
    Social Control and the Criminal Justice System
    Is the United States Soft on Crime?
    Plea Bargaining
    The Death Penalty Debate
    Arguments Against the Death Penalty
    Arguments Favoring the Death Penalty
    The Law and Social Control of Political Dissent
    Therapeutic Social Control: Law and Psychiatry
    "No Taxation Without Representation!": A Case of Judicial Social Control
    Discussion Questions
    Cases Cited

    Chapter 10. The Limits of Social Control: Policing Vice
    What Is a Vice Crime?
    Homosexuality and Sodomy
    The Law and Gay Rights Versus Religious Liberty
    The Concept of "Compelling Government Interest"
    Can the Rights of Both Gays and Religious Dissenters Be Protected?
    Prostitution and Commercialized Vice
    Should Prostitution Be Decriminalized/Legalized?
    Alcohol and Illicit Drugs
    Taming the Beast in the Bottle
    Illicit Drugs
    The Future of Drug Regulation
    Discussion Questions
    Cases Cited

    Chapter 11. Law, Social Change, and the Class Struggle
    What Is Social Change?
    The Law as a Cause of Social Change
    Social Movements, the Law, and Social Change
    British Law and the American Revolution
    Law and Social Engineering in the Former USSR
    The US Supreme Court and Social Change
    Dynamic and Constrained Views of the Supreme Court's Power
    The Legitimacy Basis of the Court's Power
    Justice Anthony Kennedy: The Most Powerful Man in the United States?
    Interpreting the Constitution: Strict Construction or Living Document?
    The Supreme Court and the Class Struggle
    The Fourteenth Amendment and Business Interests
    Social Justice, Equality, and Freedom: A Debate
    The Argument for Social Justice
    The Argument Against Social Justice
    The Supreme Court's Role in Inducing Social Change
    Bringing the Country Together Through Case Law
    The Activism of the Warren and Burger Courts
    Discussion Questions
    Cases Cited

    Chapter 12. Women and the Law
    Feminist Legal Theory
    Women and Law in History: The Birth of Misogyny and Other Triumphs
    The Relative Value of Citizens: The Struggle for Women's Suffrage
    Woman as Human and Person
    Rape and Other Misogynous Atrocities
    Women's Work and Other Legal Matters
    The UNCEFDW and the Equal Rights Amendment
    Domestic Violence
    Women's Representation in the Legal Profession
    The Bias Studies
    Law, Equality, and Justice
    Building Understanding
    Discussion Questions
    Cases Cited

    Chapter 13. Racial Minorities and the Law
    African Americans
    Slavery and the Law
    The Amistad Case
    The Dred Scott Case
    Emancipation and the Reconstruction Period
    The Emergence of Jim Crow Laws
    Segregation, Disenfranchisement, and the Plessy and Williams Cases
    Lynching and Black Protest
    "We Shall Overcome"
    Congressional Activity
    The Cold War and International Pressure
    American Indians
    The Early Years
    The Marshall Trilogy: Defining Indian Status
    The Period of Removal and Physical Genocide
    The Assimilation Period and Cultural Genocide
    The Beginning of the End of Cultural Genocide (With a Few Backward Steps)
    Asian Americans
    The Mexican-American War and the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo
    Push and Pull: Invitation and Exile
    Segregation, Jury Representation, and Voting Rights
    How Far Have We Come?
    Discussion Questions
    Cases Cited

    Chapter 14. Comparative Law: Law in Other Cultures
    Law in Preliterate Bands and Tribes
    Law in the Modern World: The Four Traditions
    Common Law
    Civil Law
    Socialist Law
    Islamic Law
    The Four Traditions and the Rule of Law
    The Convergence of Systems
    Discussion Questions

    Appendix A: Constitution of the United States of America
    Appendix B: Student-Friendly Legal Websites
    Table of Cases
    Photo Credits

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