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}} The sociology of law (or legal sociology) is often described as a sub-discipline of sociology or an interdisciplinary approach within legal studies.<ref>For various definitions of the sociology of law see: Ehrlich 1936 (orig 1912); Timasheff 1939; Pound 1943; Selznick 1965, Aubert 1969 and 1980, Black 1972, Stjernquist 1983, Hydén 1986, Tomasic 1987, Ferrari 1989, Podgorecki 1991, Cotterrell 1992, Banakar 2003 and 2011; Mathiesen 2005, Deflem 2008, Travers 2009, Nelken 2009, Scuro 2010, Banakar and Travers 2013, Banakar 2014.</ref> Some see sociology of law as belonging "necessarily" to the field of sociology<ref>See Deflem 2008:3.</ref> whilst others tend to consider it a field of research caught up between the disciplines of law and sociology.<ref>Banakar 2003 and 2009, Banakar and Travers 2013.</ref> Still others regard it neither as a sub-discipline of sociology nor as a branch of legal studies but as a field of research on its own right within the broader social science tradition. Accordingly, it may be described without reference to mainstream sociology as "the systematic, theoretically grounded, empirical study of law as a set of social practices or as an aspect or field of social experience",.<ref>Cotterrell 2007.</ref> It has been seen as treating law and justice as fundamental institutions of the basic structure of society mediating "between political and economic interests, between culture and the normative order of society, establishing and maintaining interdependence, and constituting themselves as sources of consensus, coercion and social control".<ref>Scuro 2010: 64.</ref>

Irrespective of whether sociology of law is defined as a sub-discipline of sociology, an approach within legal studies, or a field of research in its own right, it remains intellectually dependent mainly on the traditions, methods and theories of mainstream sociology and, to a lesser extent on other social sciences such as social anthropology, political science, social policy, criminology and psychology; as such, it reflects social theories and employs social scientific methods to study law, legal institutions and legal behavior.<ref>Banakar and Travers 2005, pp. 1-25.</ref>

More specifically, sociology of law consists of various approaches to the study of law in society, which empirically examine and theorize the interaction between law, legal, non-legal institutions and social factors.<ref>See Black 1976; Cotterrell 1992; Hunt 1993; Santos 2002; Banakar 2003; Banakar and Travers 2002; Ferrari 1989; Luhmann 1985; Trevino 2008; Travers 2009, Nelken 2009.</ref> Areas of socio-legal inquiry include the social development of legal institutions, forms of social control, legal regulation, the interaction between legal cultures, the social construction of legal issues, legal profession, and the relation between law and social change.

Sociology of law also benefits from and occasionally draws on research conducted within other fields such as comparative law, critical legal studies, jurisprudence, legal theory, law and economics and law and literature. Its object encompasses the historical movement of law and justice and their relentless contemporary construction, e.g., in the field of jurisprudence focused on institutional questions conditioned by social and political situations, in interdisciplinary dominions such as criminology, and through analysis of the economic efficiency and the social impact of legal norms.<ref>Scuro 2010: 12</ref>


Sociology of law sections
Intro  Intellectual origins  Sociological approaches to the study of law  Socio-legal studies  Sociology of law in Britain  Devising a sociological concept of law  Non-Western sociology of law  Contemporary perspectives  Professional associations or societies  Journals  Journals  [[Sociology_of_law?section=Research</a>_centres|Research</a> centres]]  See also  Notes  References  External links  

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