In this imaginative exploration of modern legal culture, Lawrence Friedman addresses how the contemporary idea of individual rights has altered the legal systems and authority structures of Western societies. Every aspect of law, he arguesfrom civil rights to personal-injury litigation to divorce lawhas been profoundly reshaped, reflecting the power of this concept.
The new individualism is quite different from that of the nineteenth century, which stressed self-control, discipline, and traditional group values. Modern individualism focuses on the individual as the starting and ending point of life and assumes a wide zone of choice. Choice is vital, fundamental: the right to develop oneself, to build up a life uniquely suited to oneself through free, open selection among forms, models, and lifestyles. With striking clarity and force, Friedman demonstrates how the new individualism results from changes in the technological and social framework of society. Loose, unconnected, free-floating, mobile: this is the modern individual, at least in comparison with the immediate past.
Written for the general reader as well as lawyers and legal scholars, The Republic of Choice offers keen and original observations about legal culture and the public consciousness that informs and expresses it.
|Publisher:||Harvard University Press|
|Product dimensions:||6.39(w) x 9.57(h) x 0.93(d)|
About the Author
Lawrence M. Friedman is Marion Rice Kirkwood Professor of Law at Stanford Law School.
Table of Contents
2. Legalism and Individualism
3. Modernity and the Rise of the Individual
4. Technology and Change
5. On Modern Legal Culture
6. The Chosen Republic
7. Gods, Kings, and Movie Stars
8. Crime, Sexuality, and Social Disorganization
9. The Life-Style Society
10. A Stab at Assessment
Appendix: Social Meanings of Key Terms
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I had this book as a text in a sociology of law course at UCSD and this is the worst book on the treatment of this subject. The author loses focus very often in the subject matter in each chapter, and thus the clear point of the book is never really explicated. It is very hard for a college student, let alone a layman to fully comprehend this book, largely because of the inconsistent nature of the author's style of writing.