IDEOLOGY AND LAW The problem of law in relation to the social structure can be seen as a specific case of the general question of ideology and society, or even more broadly as an issue in the sociology of knowledge. It is difficult to conceptualize a general theory of law, because it is at present problematic to achieve any consensus about a general theory of ideology. There are of course also many unresolved conceptual problems relating to the very notion of ‘ideology’ (Turner 1987). At present, there is little scope for theoretical or empirical confidence in the ability of either Marxists or Marxist sociologists to specify the precise content of ideology in capitalist society, the interests served by such an ideology, or its functions in relation to social classes or modes of production. The problems of specifying the ideology of capitalism and its necessary or contingent relations to capitalist production are well known (Abercrombie, Hill, and Turner 1980). Although there are willing exponents of the theory of ‘hegemony’ in industrial society, the empirical grounding for this viewpoint is often limited, if not largely absent (Hoffman 1984).