Angelina Snodgrass Godoy
Provides conceptual tools for understanding law and its role in society by acquainting students with major currents of social theory. Topics include liberalism, Marxism, critical feminist theory, and critical race theory. Offered: jointly with LSJ 362.
What is the law? And why doesn’t it work? (Or does it?) These are questions we will explore in this class. If they sound broad, they are; this is a course in social theory, and we will focus on law as a vehicle for understanding the way societies are ordered. Throughout the quarter, we will explore the law’s ambiguous role as both a mechanism of enforcement for social hierarchies of class, race, and gender and as a tool for emancipation, enabling and empowering oppressed groups’ claims to equality. To what extent does the former function eclipse the latter? When does the law provide justice, and when are its promises effectively neutralized by power differences in society? Take-home exams will apply these theoretical issues to contemporary questions.
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