Blog post 3

by rileygridzak1 on December 2, 2015 - 11:57pm

What is the benefit to studying law as a social science?/How should we approach the law as an academic field?

I've spent a lot of time trying to write this blog post and more importantly trying to figure out how to answer the question "What is the benefit to studying law as a social science?" As a biology major, it is not always easy to think of a connection between law and the various social sciences. However, throughout the course JURI 1106A this connection has been made clear to me. In my opinion, in order to fully understand this particular study we first need to understand a few definitions. Particularly regarding law and society. Law is a set of rules in place carried out by a body of government officials. While society is an interconnected group of likeminded people. So how do these two terms fit together? Well, each law that is created has a purpose, this purpose being to fit the growing needs of today's society. Treating law as a social science helps scholars and students alike to understand many things that would not normally be covered in a typical law class. Instead of focusing on previous cases and how the law is enforced, things like how society will respond to new laws is looked at. Other benefits of studying law as a social science are; the reasoning of why people break the law will be studied and better understood, also the social sciences include a large range of subjects that can improve understanding. Some of these subjects are; anthropology, sociology, history and geography. When law is treated as a social science, government officials will be able to realize society's needs and will update laws accordingly. To expand on this, many laws that exist today were not present say 50 years ago, this is because as society grows and accepts new values, the laws that shape society must grow as well. Examples of these laws would be; laws regarding abortion, assisted suicide, and gay marriage. Therefore, studying law as a social science is a crucial area of education, this is because studying law in this manner helps to put things into a different perspective. There are many ways that one could go about studying law as a social science. The best way to do so in my opinion would be to compare the past, present, and the future of legal enforcement as well as society's ever changing values. Because as they say, the past is the key to understanding the present. An example of a previous Canadian custom that drastically changed with the evolution of society is the implementation of residential schools. Attendance was mandatory and federal agents ensured all native children attended. In all, about 150 000 Aboriginal children were removed from their communites and forced to attend the boarding schools. Clearly the idea of residential schools was abolished because society was outraged by this and the government reacted accordingly. To conclude, studying law as a social science is an academic field that is of the upmost importance and is a key element to understanding the rules and regulations that govern us all.

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