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Social Change on Laws

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Research a situation from the last decade which, in your opinion, exemplifies the impact of social change on laws. Identify and briefly describe this situation. After describing the situation, please answer the following:

- In what ways does this situation exemplify how social change can affect law (law as a dependent variable)?
- In what ways does this situation exemplify how legal change can affect some aspect of society (law as an independent variable)?

Read the following examples and answer the questions posed for each example:

Example #1: Suppose within five years, same-sex marriage is legalized in a majority of states. As a result of the passing of these laws, the number of same-sex marriages increases.

- Is this result a direct or indirect effect of the legal change? Explain.
- What are the impacts of the law in this example?

Example #2: Suppose within five years, same-sex marriages are legalized in a majority of states and the number of same-sex marriages increases dramatically. As a result, society's views towards same-sex marriage shifts and more people become supportive of these marriages.

- Is this result a direct or indirect effect of the legal change? Explain.
- What are the impacts of the law in this example?

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Solution Preview

-- A social issue that exemplifies the impact of social change on laws would be the laws that have been passed in the last decade regarding gun control. We went from a state where it was illegal in all states for civilians to possess concealed firearms to now, where most states have enacted legislation that allows citizens to carry concealed weapons as long as certain conditions are met, including having the proper training, license to carry, be of the required age, and have no history of prior felony convictions. This social change came about over the past few decades as people began protesting restrictions on carrying firearms, as it is a right (as contested) in the constitution's second amendment, which states that people have the right to "keep and bear arms." As of July, 2011, people have the right to carry concealed weapons in 49 states. The social law doesn't come without consequences, however. Between 2007 and 2010, 9 police officers ...

Solution Summary

Research a situation from the last decade which, in your opinion, exemplifies the impact of social change on laws. Identify and briefly describe this situation. After describing the situation, please answer the following:

- In what ways does this situation exemplify how social change can affect law (law as a dependent variable)?
- In what ways does this situation exemplify how legal change can affect some aspect of society (law as an independent variable)?

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