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Criminology and Criminal Justice, Essay Example

Pages: 1

Words: 307

Essay

Chambliss’ famous article on the law of vagrancy is of the autonomy thesis, which believes that the system evolves from internal logics of the legal system and from ongoing problem-solving of lawyers, judges, etc. At first, I was leaning towards the article being about the structural determinism thesis, because during the start of the article, Chambliss mentioned a number of events happening during that time which caused people to react in the way they did. These events such as the Black Plague and having to lower labor wages had great effect on the people and the economy, making these aspects of the social world determinants for subsequent events. The emergence of the vagrancy statue was due to the changes in social structure. However, it was in the sentence stated that the statue of vagrancy was not removed after it had served its function when it became clearer that the thesis was autonomous. It was not the social situations which dictated the law, or controlled the people, there were still powers within the system which imposed punishments onto violators of law. It was not swayed by the social movements or reactions of people, the law still remained its own structure, and the determinants of the law were the people behind the system. As, described in the definition of law being an autonomous system. The article describes events occurring in society, and how the vagrancy statues emerged in response to these events. However, it is not the events which dictated the law themselves. The shift in the vagrancy statues also did not adhere to the social changes in England, it determined a different focal point, and served the function for social order of England, and it did not let the social order of England dictate its function. Thus, the law of vagrancy stands as the autonomous thesis of law.

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