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Sociology of Law in China: Overview and Trends

NCJ Number
Law & Society Review Volume: 23 Issue: 5 Dated: (1989) Pages: 903-914
J Wei-Dong
Date Published
12 pages
The sociology of law in the People's Republic of China is currently undergoing a revival, although legal theories have made slow progress.
In view of the social setting of modernization, the Chinese are strengthening sociological studies in law for four reasons. First, in rapidly changing China, as the traditional ordering mechanism gradually becomes disordered, social life must depend on law with universality and expressivity. Second, whether transplanting foreign law or making new law, society is always faced with harmonizing relations between the new institution and the traditional culture. Third, the extremely uneven economic and cultural development among regions makes Chinese legislators sacrifice clarity, concreteness of stipulations, and completeness of the legal system for feasibility. Fourth, the more the function of law expands, the more reflection of legal systems, namely the judgment of judges and the rulemaking of legislation, is necessary. A review of sociological studies involving legal phenomena in China indicates a lack of empirical research and statistics and an emphasis on the relation between law and society from a Marxist-Leninist perspective. Networks within which to conduct further social studies are the National Statistics Bureau, the investigation system set up in the Rural Economic Development Studies Center, and the Chinese Social Investigation System established in the Institute of Reform of Economic System in China. 38 references.


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