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Law and Social Theory - JURD7632
 The Quad

Faculty: Faculty of Law
School:  School of Law
Course Outline: See below
Campus: Kensington Campus
Career: Postgraduate
Units of Credit: 6
EFTSL: 0.12500 (more info)
Indicative Contact Hours per Week: 4
Enrolment Requirements:
Prerequisite: LAWS1001 and LAWS1011; Corequisite: LAWS2311.
Excluded: JURD7222, LAWS2820, LAWS3332
Fee Band:   (more info)
Further Information: See Class Timetable


This course has to do primarily with interrelationships between law and other institutions and practices in society, particularly modern society; with what law does in society and what other elements of society do to it. These questions are approached, first, by examination of the great social theorists - especially Marx, Durkheim and Weber - who sought to explain the distinctive character of modern societies, and then by examination of transformations in contemporary law and society, and of different theoretical attempts to understand that law and those transformations. Those attempts include feminist and post-modernists analyses.

Note/s: If taken as a compulsory course, it is JURD7222 (6 UOC)

Recommended Prior Knowledge


Course Objectives

The emphasis in both parts of the course will be, as much, on coming to terms with broad theoretical thinking about law and society as with the application of the results of this thinking to current legal and social reality. In other words, just as in the courses earlier in the law curriculum, students had to come to terms with the "artificial reason" of the law and learn “to think like a lawyer”, this course seeks to introduce students to another way of thinking, just as removed from the suppositions of everyday commonsense thinking as it is from the assumptions and certainties of legal thinking itself. Whether one calls this type of thinking ‘philosophical’, ‘social-theoretical’ or whatever, students may find it quite challenging - dare one say difficult - at first. Nevertheless, no knowledge of philosophy, sociology and the like will be presupposed and, indeed, coming to this course with few or no preconceived ideas about Marxism, feminism, poststructuralism and critical theory (in its many guises) may well be an advantage.

Main Topics

  • Introduction to Modernity
  • Marx
  • Pashukanis
  • Durkheim
  • Weber
  • Rule of law / Globalisation
  • Feminism
  • Foucault


Three short research essays (80%)
Class participation (20% maximisable)

Course Texts

Law and Social Theory materials - two volumes

Refer to Course Outline provided by lecturer.


Refer to Course Outline provided by lecturer.

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