The relationship between law and power is central to the sociology of law and implicated in most of the approaches that one finds in law and society research. Power occupied the attention of sociology's founding fathers—Karl Marx (1818–1883), Max Weber (1864–1920), and Émile Durkheim (1858–1917)—and continues to be central to the field. In simple terms, the question is whether law is merely a reflection or even servant of power (Marx and one reading of Weber) and social stability (Durkheim). On one hand, is law a tool for effecting social change—for transforming power relationships, implicating a liberal reading of Weber? The question is also a practical one for the role of the legal profession in political movements for change. If law is merely a reflection of ...

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