Celebrating 50 years of legal socialization

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    7 Scopus citations


    This article presents the 2021 JSI special issue on legal socialization, which we planned to celebrate the legal socialization scholarship that was largely initiated by a special issue of JSI (1971, Vol. 27, Issue 2) published 50 years ago. In its broadest sense, legal socialization refers to the process by which people develop their relationship with the law. Undergirding this process is the acquisition, formation, and development of legal values, attitudes, and reasoning capacities. This intellectual tradition rests on four pillars—foundationality, reciprocity, ubiquity, and continuity—that provide order to a field of study where scholars are trained in different disciplines, employ different methodologies, and pursue different questions involving people's relationship with the law. Much like in 1971, today many people are questioning the role of law in society, its purpose, its function, its history, and its efficacy. It is more important than ever to understand how people develop their orientation toward this social institution and the influence of that orientation on legal behavior. This issue features an eclectic group of scholars and a broad array of legal socialization research. This body of scholarship is intended to push the boundaries of the field both theoretically and in scope. This introduction situates each article within the rich historical tradition of legal socialization.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)281-290
    Number of pages10
    JournalJournal of Social Issues
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - Jun 2021

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Social Sciences(all)


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