chapter  1
23 Pages


BySteven Vago, Adie Nelson, Veronica Nelson, Steven E. Barkan

This chapter discusses law's functions and dysfunctions. In sociology, the study of law embraces a number of well-established areas of inquiry. Among sociologists, interest in law grew rapidly after World War II ended in 1945. From a sociological perspective, one of the most influential definitions of law is that of Max Weber. Weber argues that law has three basic features that, taken together, distinguish it from other normative orders, such as custom or convention. From a different perspective, Donald Black contends that law is essentially governmental social control. In this sense, law is "the normative life of a state and its citizens, such as legislation, litigation, and adjudication". The chapter explores the types of law, such as, substantive laws, procedural laws, public law, private law, civil law, criminal law, common law, statutory law, and administrative law. The Romano-Germanic, or civil, law refers to legal science that has developed on the basis of Roman ius civile or civil law.