Blog post #3
by Ajunor on December 2, 2015 - 10:23pm
As discussed throughout the semester we have looked at the presence of the law in our daily lives. The law is reflective of its society’s norms and expectations, written rules that we abide that help to maintain a working flow and a way to punish or have set consequences for those who do not. It is hard if not impossible to study one without including some aspect of the other because they are so intertwined. Laws were created to maintain order and set expectations for the citizens, I believe that there is not and has never been a society that was not governed by law. Without rules or leadership there would be panic and mayhem, in stating there has always been law I do not mean the formal laws that govern societies as such that exit today but rather that there has always been norms or values that collectively groups have followed and a person or group of people chosen to reign. Studying the law as a social science helps us to better understand the nature of a region and its people, the traditional approach to study law was to look specifically at the rules and not the people however even in doing so the rules themselves reflect the people they govern because the laws are created as a result of the interactions and effects of its people. You cannot dissect a law without having to take into account past or potential instances where the law was used and its effect on society, to understand the law you have to look at its purpose and place. The relationship between law and society is extremely complex, when studying as a social science the focus is on the interaction between the two, the cause and effects that will occur, the living tree argument- the law is not static and needs to change with social circumstances is very important and shows the complexity between the two. When a law is out dated or no longer protects society the need to change is obvious, there are many out dated laws still on the books that are no longer relevant within life today but did at the time they were created have a purpose. New laws are created every day because of society’s change, for example regarding safety, decades ago smoking was viewed as socially acceptable, and people smoked everywhere but as the years went on and the impact that smoking has on our health became more publically known the need for intervention became evident. There are now by-laws and limitations on acceptable areas to smoke, and even limitations on health care and insurance coverage if you chose to smoke. You can no longer light up anywhere and in some cases there are consequences greater than a warning if you do so. The benefit of studying law as a social society is the ability to understand what society views as important and to understand the interaction, the law is meant to protect and uphold a civilized way of living, to understand why the law is important we need to study the law not through one specific field of academic study but rather a combination of many fields.