The Social Organization of Law

The Social Organization of Law. New York: Academic Press, 1973 (with M. Mileski).
By Donald Black

Based on the premise that there is an interpenetion of law and social organization, this volume establishes a framework for the comparative study of legal control in both past and present societies throughout the world. The editors have selected 21 representative readings that deal with the prescriptions of law, its mobilization, and the disposition of cases. These readings are organized under the following categories:

-theoretical strategy
-law and other forms of social control
-social stratification
-social morphology
-collective action
-culture
-legal organization

The editors begin with an introduction that briefly describes the history of academic interest in law, and then outlines their approach to the sociology of law, pointing to the empirical highlights of the readings which follow. The readings are from the literature of legal scholarship, anthropology, history, and of course, sociology. These readings cover an array of legal patterns ranging historically and geographically from the legal and political organization of ancient Rome to the legal relations of American Businessmen - and include information on such unusual topics as the European witch trials, communal courts in a West African tribe, and revolutionary law in Soviet Asia.

Sociologists, lawyers, political scientists, and anthropologists - as well as professors and graduate and advanced undergraduates in these fields - will find this volume a useful starting point for the empirical study of law and social organization.