In the United States, scholarly activities related to law and society principally involve law professors and social scientists who are concerned with the interaction of the legal and the social, broadly defined. Some commentators have suggested that it is more accurate to think of law in society or law in context. They question whether one should even think of law and society as separate phenomena. In fact, all those involved in sociolegal scholarship regard law to some extent as a social phenomenon.

In 1986, Lawrence Friedman described scholarly and professional activity in this area as the law and society movement. Alternatively, Frank Munger described it as a loose association of networks. Felice Levine surveyed how others use terms such as sociolegal studies, sociology of law, law ...

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