Law and Society Term Paper

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Law and Society

The Nature of Law and Justice - Sadomasochism

Sadomasochism presents the complexities and nuances involved in the nature of law and justice. In its purest definition, socially and legally, sadomasochism is a consensual act. There may even be actual contracts involved. However, this presentation shows that just because there is consent to the act, doesn't mean that the dominant can get away with anything. In cases in which the submissive party does claim harm, and can substantiate those claims with evidence, the case may be relatively cut and dry. However, the submissive party may be getting harmed due to the presence of a mental illness that creates inhibition. Other intervening variables could impact the outcome of the case. Yet because of their consent it may be difficult to take legal action in some cases. Therefore, the sadomasochism presentation does a good job with revealing the complex nature of law and justice.

Criminal Law and its Administration -- Deviance

Deviance is a core concept in criminal law and its administration. The definition of crime is directly linked to what the society views to be normative vs. deviant behavior. Even seemingly straightforward issues like murder have gray areas: such as self-defense. Acts that are deemed to be crimes simply because they represent deviant behaviors might only be classified as misdemeanors, but they are reflective of the way society treats deviance. Drug laws are a good example of what is considered criminal and what is not. Drug use is not necessarily a criminal behavior, but has been labeled as such. Therefore, drug use falls under the rubric of the legal system rather than the healthcare system.

Therefore, criminal law and its administration must involve careful analysis of the philosophical and sociological theories of deviance involved. Although actual administrative issues are not addressed by the presentation, deviance is one of the most important topics in criminal law. The presentation also touches upon core sociological theories of deviance, like strain theory, which are useful for understanding public policy development.

Non-criminal Law -- Same-Sex Adoption

The issues surrounding same-sex couples who want to adopt generally fall under the rubric of civic law and not criminal law. There may at times be criminal issues that arise in individual cases, but adoption is not a subset of criminal law. Therefore, this topic represents non-criminal law issues well. Same-sex marriage is currently a state-by-state issue too, meaning that ultimately constitutional law could come into play as well. It is possible that bans on same-sex marriage such as the one currently passed in North Carolina might be deemed unconstitutional. It is also possible for a federal bill that legalizes same-sex marriage nationwide, thereby granting all couples the right to adopt no…

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