Food for thought: Sociological Jurisprudence

This week’s topic is Sociological Jurisprudence:

This class will focus on the sociological jurisprudence perspective. For Roscoe Pound, legal decisions reflect and are informed by broader social, cultural, and psychological processes. Law is not about the mechanical application of statutes and precedents – it is a complex social phenomenon that is embedded in extra-legal processes. For the proponents of sociological jurisprudence, legal formalism (the myth of ‘pure law’) is both impractical and problematic, and it inhibits the potential of law as a mechanism for progressive social change. Our primary case study will be the practice of forced sterilization, and related judicial decisions.

Food for Thought:

Proposition: The purpose of law – and particularly judicial decision-making – is to preserve the status quo.

Do you agree or disagree? Discuss! Use contemporary examples to illustrate your response.


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