LWSOCUA 1 - Law and Society

An introduction to the study of law as a political practice. We treat law as a political practice from multiple disciplinary standpoints, examining how law and a range of legal institutions embody and constitute political, cultural, economic, and social forces. We examine the mobilization of rights, the use of litigation, and vernacular legal discourse, largely within the context of the United States, but with reference to transnational struggles. In the course of doing so, we study the relationship between making social policy and the use of litigation by social movements. Specifically, we study litigation strategies at the appellate and trial levels by focusing on three sociolegal movements: the civil rights movement, the women?s movement, and class action tort cases. What are the political dimensions of legal arguments and legal remedies for racial and gender discrimination and toxic torts? Under what conditions is law an empowering and/or effective political resource? What are the limits of legality in the making of social change?.
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