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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Michael W Mc Cann
POL S 363
Seattle Campus

Law in Society

Inquiry into how law matters in social practice. Examines general theories of law, the workings of legal institutions, and the character of legally constituted practices and relationships in diverse terrains of social life. Offered: jointly with LSJ 363.

Class description

Description: What is law? How does it work, and how does it matterm, in social life? Does law live up to its promises? If not, when, how, and why? The course will focus on understanding law as a symbolic resource for constructing community and as a mode of organized state violence; we will discuss at length the relationship and tension between these fundamental dimensions of law. The character and significance of "rights" as a problematic socio-legal convention will provide a theme that runs through the entire course. We will use a wide variety of texts (academic books and articles, websites, news reports, popular TV shows and movies, YouTube videos) to trace the circulation, enforcement, and implications of legal norms and practices in society.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Additional Information
Last Update by Meera Roy
Date: 12/13/2012