Theory Of The Behavior Of Law Essay — страница 4

  • Просмотров 352
  • Скачиваний 5
  • Размер файла 19

convicted more often than those that belong to a higher status group. Thus, the poor do not depend on the law (1997). Cooney concludes that the protection of the law for the elite renounce lethal conflict (homicide), but the impoverished are not afforded this luxury of protection. Therefore, they must handle their conflicts themselves, which often leads to homicide (1997). Lessen, G. & Sheley, J. (1992) . Does law behave? A macrolevel test of Black s propositions on change in law. Social Forces, 70 (3), 655-680. Lessen and Sheley test Donald Black s five propositions at the macro level. They state that Black s theory has helped to conceptualize law in quantifiable terms, but has been subjected to limited empirical testing. Their main interest is how the theory and its

independent and dependent variables hold up when subjected to change such as trends in social life . To measure stratification, Lessen and Sheley borrow Devine s labor-capital income ratio to indicate class-income inequality. To measure morphology, they employed an index of division of labor to indicate quantity of differentiation. For culture, they focused mainly on religion and technology. Theil s entropy index was used to measure the proportion of the population in each major religious group, and the number of patents issued per 100,00 people. Organization was measured by using the number of corporations per 100,000 people, paired with the number of years the US was at war in contrast to those in which was not. Lastly, social control was measured by homicide rates per 100,00

people (1992). Complex mathematical equations were applied. In each of the studies, at least one variable is related to change in the law in the opposite direction from Black s hypotheses. However, there were two findings that were interesting to the authors: the link between organization and law (these findings were strongly consistent with Black s), and the absence of a link between morphology and law. Organization, more specifically bureaucraticization, is the most important of the five social conditions. Conflict with external forces seems to produce less tolerance internally for social deviance of any kind during a period in which a society s members increasingly are bonding (Lessen and Sheley, 1992, p. 672). The second finding suggested that the measure was most likely the

main problem. Lessen and Sheley conclude that Black s propositions did not meet the empirical tests with which they were subjected. However, they emphasize that none of their tests necessitates abandoning the quantitative study of law that Black proposed (1992). SYNTHESIS & CONCLUSION Each of these articles describe Donald Black s five dimensions of social life in a unique manner. The first by Gottfredson and Hindelang used the National Crime Survey to develop, explain, as well as refute stratification, morphology, culture, organization, and social control. Their conclusions tend to show that while Black s concepts have some applicability to social groups as a whole, he left out the individual perspective. It is important to remember that groups are made up of individuals who

all think, feel, and behave differently. Motivations are important as well. The second article by Cooney uses parts of Black s theory to support a theory of his own: the decline of elite homicides. The article did not explain or further Black s propositions, but utilized the conflict between the impoverished and wealthy to describe why the homicide rate is declining among the elite. The third article seemed highly technical in its method, which helped to provide empirical evidence to back up the authors oppositions to Black s theory of the behavior of law. Overall, all of the researchers seemed to believe that some of the principles introduced by Black have some validity. However, when tested, Black s theory did not hold its own. This theory can really explain any crime be it

minor or major, because it is the wealthy and powerful who decide which behaviors will be considered what is crime and who will be considered a criminal. This theory has some valid points, but it has been shown that most of them can be argued, if not shown to be the opposite of what Black proposed. REFERENCES: Black, D. (1989) . Sociological justice. NewYork: Oxford University Press. Hawkins, D. (1990) . Sociological justice by Donald Black [Review of the book Sociological justice]. Social Forces, 69 (1), 316-318. Kleck, G. (1990) . Donald Black: Sociological Justice [Review of the book Sociological justice] . Contemporary Sociology, 19 (2), 261-262. Vold, G. B., Bernard, T. J., & Snipes, J. B. (1998) . Theoretical criminology (4th ed.) . New York: Oxford University Press.