The Law and Social Change Essay

The Law and Social Change Essay

Length: 1600 words (4.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The legal system we abide by has generally served its purpose by providing order and justice in most situations that need legal obedience. However, on the premises of producing social change, the system has not proven to bring changes in society. Perhaps justification for this is explained by Clarence Darrow who argues that the law applies to and favors specific types of social classes. Robert Cover addresses how punishments from judges may counteract their purpose. Karla Fischer and her peers, along with Jackie Campbell’s “Walking the Beat Alone,” show how law has objectives to serve society, but do not supply social change and in fact hinder its progress. The film Eyes on the Prize portrayed the African American efforts in disobeying the law in order to make a statement. Lastly, Tom Tyler’s writing, Why People Obey the Law, he discusses laws that people do not obey purely because it is a law. The legal system’s role is thought to bring social change, however, the system is structured to favor certain groups of people and in many cases, statutes and legal decisions have counteracted their intentions and failed to create change in society.
In Clarence Darrow’s Address to the Prisoners in the Cook County Jail, he discusses the reasons for people being and jail and crime. Darrow believes that people are in jail because they are poor (Darrow 227). He thinks that the legal system favors those that possess wealth (Darrow 229). If there were less people whom are poor, there would be less crime. If it were easier for people to obtain wealth, there would be less crime. The legal system is structured so that those without money are unable to obey the law. He does not believe our system provides justice, but more or less just provides pro...


... middle of paper ...


...in, 2006. Print.

Cover, Robert. "The Violence of Legal Acts." Before the Law. 8th. Boston, MA: Houghton
Mifflin, 2006. Print.

Darrow, Clarence. "Address to the Prisoners in the Cook County Jail." Before the Law. 8th.
Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin, 2006. Print.

Fischer, Karla, Neil Vidmar, and Rene Ellis. "The Culture of Battering and the Role of
Mediation in Domestic Violence Cases." Before the Law. 8th. Boston, MA: Houghton
Mifflin, 2006. Print

McCann, Michael.” Law and social movements.” In The Blackwell companion to law and society, ed. Austin Sarat, Malden, MA: Blackwell Pub. 2004.

Tyler, Tom. “Why People Obey the Law.” In Law & Society: Readings on the Social Study of Law, 474-496. New York: W.W. Norton & Co.

FILM:

Eyes on the Prize. Henry Hampton. PBS. 1990

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Social Change And The Law Essay

- Social change and the law are codependent. If one wishes to see progress in the world, a world crippled with corruption, ignorance, fear, and hate amongst other injustices, he or she must acknowledge the relationship that law and social change have on one another. Social change requires a shift in the mindset of a collective body. It requires the norms of a culture to gradually change and progress with the values of the evolving society in order for change to happen. Laws change over time as the society’s values evolve....   [tags: Slavery, Atlantic slave trade, History of slavery]

Powerful Essays
2271 words (6.5 pages)

Essay on The Second Direct Effect On Social Change

- The second direct effect that has the most influence on social change is the monetary value awarded to litigants through the expansion of tort law. One of the strongest factors in determining the power of any particular social movement is the ability to create a secure support structure. Epp explains that this is mainly comprised of money, lawyers, and organizations such as the NAACP or the ACLU. One of the key laws that helped activists create a strong support structure was the passage of the Civil Rights Attorneys’ Fees Awards Act....   [tags: Law, Tort, Damages]

Powerful Essays
703 words (2 pages)

Citizens Effect on Social Change Essay example

- 1. What obligations do we have as citizens to effect social change. What powers do we have as members of our communities and societies to effect change. Use specific examples. Within Canada, every citizen has fundamental rights and freedoms, some are rights and others are privileges. It is every individual’s responsibility to be aware of the law and rules of Canada. Paying taxes is a prime example of an obligation that a citizen has which positively effects social change within society. You have the right to defend your own rights if questioned, also if it is your obligation to protect and defend the rights and freedoms of other individuals....   [tags: laws, priviledges, change, commuity]

Powerful Essays
584 words (1.7 pages)

The Theory Of Social Change Essay

- List and briefly explain all the theories on social change from Harper (chapter 3) and Massey 's (chapter 3) book. Then comment on which theory or theories you think make more sense in explaining social change, and use examples to back up your statements. Functionalism assumes that society is essentially a system of parts that work together for the benefit of the group (Harper, 44). That it 's system is built around imperatives that perpetuate its existence: “the replacement of individuals, socialization, production of goods and services, provision of social order, and maintenance of common symbols, values, and motivation”....   [tags: Sociology, Social movement, Reality, Change]

Powerful Essays
1000 words (2.9 pages)

Social Movements, Collective Behavior, And Social Change Essay

- Social Movements, Collective Behavior, and Social Change This chapter talks about social change and how it happens and the theories behind social movements. The five essay questions at the end of this chapter are answered below. The first question was, “Discuss the four types of social movements and the features of each one. The four types of social movements are alternative social movement, redemptive social movement, reformative social movement, and revolutionary social movement. The alternative social movement is defined as, “a want to create a change in specific people’s thoughts, practices, and beliefs regarding a particular issue.” “Their goal is to encourage a small, defined change...   [tags: Sociology, Social movement, Political movement]

Powerful Essays
882 words (2.5 pages)

Lack of Rule of Law in China Essay

- Aristotle once stated, “The rule of law is better than that of any individual.” The essential characteristics of rule of law are: the supremacy of law, meaning both the government and individuals are subject to the law; a concept of justice that emphasizes interpersonal adjudication, based on importance of standards and procedures; restrictions on discretionary power and exercise of legislative power by the executive; independent judiciary, judicial precedent and common law methodology; prospective, not retrospective legislation; and underlying moral basis for law....   [tags: International Law]

Powerful Essays
2069 words (5.9 pages)

Essay on Taking A Position On Privacy Law

- Taking a position on privacy vs security is a bit like throwing darts in the dark and having only a vague idea of where the board actually is. In matters of privacy and security, the world has changed in countless, unforeseeable ways since they were first taken up by America, or any other nation for that matter, and they will undoubtedly continue to change as society moves forward. Of course, doing nothing to resolve this issue simply isn’t an option, so even someone as uncertain as myself will admit that we must do something, even if there is a large risk of it being the wrong thing....   [tags: Privacy, Privacy law, Law, United States]

Powerful Essays
1596 words (4.6 pages)

Social Work And Social Change Essay

- Social work is a profession which promotes social change, problem solving in human relationships and enhance well-being. It is important to acknowledge the history of social work and the purpose of social work and why it exists. Social work is a questioned theory with different perspectives on what it is and how it should be practised. Social work helps people to deal with personal and social problems so that people can overcome or adjust to any personal difficulties. Social work is a combination of social stability and social change....   [tags: Sociology, Social work, Social justice]

Powerful Essays
1403 words (4 pages)

Essay on Public Interest Law

- Public Interest Law I first witnessed the power of the individual to engender change as a high school graduate in the summer of 1990. I was one of 10 American youths, chosen from a nationwide pool of applicants, to join 10 Soviet youths on a river rafting expedition in Siberia with Project RAFT (Russians and Americans for Teamwork). For three weeks we worked side by side, literally dependent on cooperation and mutual trust for survival. In the evenings, while sitting in a circle around glowing cedar campfires, we held structured discussions on subjects ranging from nuclear disarmament to global warming and racism....   [tags: Law College Admissions Essays]

Powerful Essays
690 words (2 pages)

Evolution of Law Essay

- Evolution of Law The government our nation has established today has come a long way from its roots. Starting with the Napoleonic Code and eventually ending with the Ratified Constitution of the United States. Rome came to England bringing the Roman Code, thus law begins. The Roman Code was a rigid code that in reality did not change much. It required ample detail and was difficult to understand at times. For example, if there where five different murders all using five different colored knives....   [tags: Law]

Powerful Essays
832 words (2.4 pages)