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Law and Society

Law and sociology are closely related to each other. According to Myneni, law is body of
principles recognized and applied by the state in the administration of justice. Law is a
body of rules. In other words, law is the system of rules which a particular country or
community recognized as regularly the action of its members and which it may enforce
by the imposition of penalties. It guides human conduct and authority imposes it. Laws
were created by the state to give punishment/sanctions and on the other hand laws which
laws tells the rights and duties of an individual. However, there is no perfect or universal
definition of law because it depends on every individual’s perspective. As a result there is
no universal or uniform definition of jurisprudence since people have different ideologies
and notion throughout the world. Law is a vast subject. It is also believed that Rome was
the first to start studying what is law.
Some of the basic features of law and sociology:
 A German sociologist Niklas Luhmann shares that law is functional system of
society. He states that law shapes all human life directly or indirectly. Law is like
knowledge as essential and all pervasive fact of the social condition.
 Law is important for a society for it serves as a norm of conduct for men and
keeps the society running. It also acts as a guideline as to what is acceptable in
 Every society follows certain laws. Law cannot be operated in a vacuum likewise
if law did not exist then the society would not be less than a jungle or of animal
 Law is meant for the betterment of the society, which is the core subject matter of
 Law also have to be amended in various times according to the changes in
society, therefore law changes as societies changes. In sociology we called law as
 The judicial system like courts and law enforcement agencies, such as the police
or even the military, are also used as forms of social control.
 Other institutions like family, education system, religion, political system, media
etc. used certain forms of social control depending on how sever it may be.

If there were no laws then there will be more chaos, more crimes, society would
break down. There would be conflicts between social groups, it would be unsafe and
would be no order in society. Thus law is said to be social engineering by Roscoe
Pound. However, sometimes there may be too much or too little social control. Too
much/many law(s) may lead to a dictatorial regime or too little laws may also lead to
a chaotic situation. When this occurs it will lead to a situation called anomie
according to Durkheim. He did analyzed the status of anomie situation in his book
‘Suicide.’ Durkheim himself stated that small levels of crimes are normal in any
society. There must be balance between the levels of social control, so that they do
not breach too many personal freedoms.