Sociological Theory of Jurisprudence

Sociological Theory
Share the content


The sociological theory of jurisprudence Advocates that the law and society are related to each other. This school argues that the law is a social phenomenon because it has a major impact on society. The main subject matter of sociology is Society. Sociology is the study of society, human behavior, and social changes. And jurisprudence is the study of law and legal aspect of things. The Sociological school of Jurisprudence advocates that the Law and society are related to each other. This school argues that the law is a social phenomenon because it has a major impact on society.

Meaning of Sociological School of Jurisprudence:

Sociological School is to establish a relation between the Law and society. This school laid more emphasis on the legal perspective of every problem and every change that take place in society. Law is a social phenomenon and law has some direct or indirect relation to society. Sociological School of Jurisprudence focuses on balancing the welfare of state and individual was realized.

Sociological School of Jurisprudence studies the relationship between the law and sociology. Every problem or concept has two different aspects. One is sociological view and other is a legal aspect. For example: Sati.

Reason for the emergence of Sociological School of Jurisprudence:

Laissez-Faire: Laissez-faire is the policy of minimum governmental interference in the economic affairs of individuals and society.

Laissez-Faire is the unrestricted freedom given to people by the government. It is a governmental policy in which the government and law will not interfere in the economic matter of people. In the Laissez-Faire economy, the only role of government and law is to prevent any conflict and coercion against individuals like theft, fraud etc.

The sociological approach to jurisprudence which resulted out of the change in the political shift from the doctrine of the laissez-faire, the industrial and technological revolution and finally the historical school bringing into focus the relationship between the law and social welfare State of the modern century, has attempted to study law as seeking social origin of law and legal institutions, testing law as a given social phenomenon and lastly judging law by its social utility.

Due to Laissez-Faire, all people are giving more importance to the individual interest and ignored the general interest or state interest and welfare of the state. The Sociological school came out as a reaction against the laissez-faire because sociological school advocates the balance between the welfare of the state and individual interest.

Jurist of the Sociological School of Jurisprudence:

Montesquieu: Montesquieu was the French philosopher and he paved the way of the sociological school of jurisprudence. He was of the view that the legal process is somehow influenced by the social condition of society. He also recognized the importance of history as a means for understanding the structure of society. And explained the importance of studying the history of society before formulating the law for that society.

Eugen Ehrlich: Eugen Ehrlich was considered as the founder of Sociology of law. Sociology of law is the study of law from the sociological perspective. Ehrlich considered society as a main source of the law. And by society, he means “association of men. He argued that society is the main source of law and better source of law than legislation or judicial decision.

Roscoe Pound: Pound was an American Legal Scholar. His view is that law should be studied in its actual working and not as it stands in the book.

Sociology of Law:

Sociology of law studies sociology from the legal point of view. The Sociology of law is the interdisciplinary approach or sub-discipline of sociology. It views the society from the legal side. And explains the interdependence of Society and law. Sociology law explains the interdependence of the law and society. Podgorecki has listed the following functions of the sociology of law-

(1) The sociology of law aims at grasping law in its working;

(2) it is to provide expert advice for social engineering;

(3) the sociology of law makes an attempt to shape its studies so as to make them useful for practical applications; and

(4) the sociology of law struggles with reality.

Thus, the sociology of law aims at the understanding of legal and social phenomena, whereas the main concern of the traditional approach to jurisprudence is to undertake analytical-linguistic studies.


Every problem has two aspects, one is legal and other is Sociological aspect. like, the legal aspect of Female Infanticide, infanticide was declared to be murder by Bengal Regulation . The British government took steps against the evil of female infanticide and propaganda the same. And its sociological aspect is that nature designed both sexes for the perpetuation of the human races. Gender equality and the empowerment of women were considered one of the eight Millennium Development Goals by the United Nations Population Fund in 2001. Society is an organism and it could progress when it is guided by Scientific Principles. in other word Society is the main source of law” and it is compared the lawyers with Engineers. And argued that the objective of the law is to solve the conflict between the Individual Interest and State Interest.


Sociological School of Jurisprudence studies the relationship between and society. It explains the interdependence of law and society. One can’t formulate better and effective law without looking and studying the need and structure of society. For the betterment and harmonious society, we need better and effective laws.

Author: Jahidul Islam Jahid

Department of Law and Land Administration,

Patuakhali Science and Technology University (PSTU).

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *