Sociological Jurisprudence

Sociological jurisprudence is often associated with Roscoe Pound (1870–1964) and through him with the American legal realist movement. However, there are historical and theoretical reasons for including several European scholars, such as the Polish-Russian jurist Leon Petrazycki (1867–1931) and the Austrian jurist Eugen Ehrlich (1862–1922), under this rubric. These scholars were critical of analytical jurisprudence for its conceptual formalism and neglect of empirical facts such as the role of social forces in creating the legal order and shaping legal behavior. They also argued that legal research, legal education, and judicial decision making should adopt the methods and insights of social sciences to counterbalance this shortcoming.

The founders of sociological jurisprudence distinguished themselves from mainstream sociologists, such as Émile Durkheim (1858–1917) and Max Weber (1864–1920), who were ...

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