Social Stratification as a Main Theme in The Brothel Boy and Other Parables of the Law

Social Stratification as a Main Theme in The Brothel Boy and Other Parables of the Law

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Social Stratification as a Main Theme in The Brothel Boy and Other Parables of the Law


"Justice is your job, not mercy" This is a very strong statement coming from The Brothel Boy and Other Parables of the Law by Norval Morris. This sentence portrays a prominent theme in the decisions made in this book. Sent to Moulmein, Burma to act as a policeman, prosecutor, and judge, Eric Blair discovers that the law is not as clear-cut as it may seem. Constantly plagued by his moral and legal values, Eric Blair finds himself seeking the advice from the local doctor, Dr. Veraswami. Blair has a total of eight separate encounters in which he battles for the right answer. He soon finds out that there is not one right answer, but many different answers that could be right or wrong depending on the situation. Many sociological and socio-legal issues are seen throughout the book. My primary focus will be on social stratification and the role it plays with the legal issues and decisions. .
The study of social stratification is the study of class, caste, privilege, and status that is characteristic of a particular society. It varies according to how society is organized especially in terms of production and work. This idea is a sociological issue that seems to prevail throughout Blair's encounters. There are many different group and individual statuses that made up the village of Moulmein, Burma. The English were ultimately the superior group because they governed Burma and because they were white. Each person among the English did have his or her own individual status as well. Blair for example had high status in the community because of his job. After the English came the Burmese villagers. Some of these people were more importa...


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In conclusion, "To strive for justice, one must be a person of principles. There is no single principle that one can use to achieve justice in the resolution of legal disputes." This is true because one must use a wide array of principles that come from moral and legal perspectives in order to gain a resolution. Unfortunately society has deemed it necessary to incorporate social stratification into some of these principles. The law tends to have more leniencies to those who have higher positions in society. With as many classes as our society today, it is impossible to find a jury of peers. Each person has their own idea of cultural norms, legal and moral principles, and a socio-class in which they belong to. Therefore, I contend that social stratification, whether it is between races, or economical levels, will always have some role in legal decisions.

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