JURD7222 – Research Assignment

January 19, 2012 § Leave a comment

Among 10 essay questions given by the lecturer, I narrowed those down some to focus my reading and planning.  Luckily, I have enough time to finish the 4500 words given that I follow my schedule (and dammit, stick to it.). The question is, to choose which question I should choose to elaborate my thoughts on. I have so much doubts about my academic writing skills and I should get some help from Learning Centre (which I’ve neglected for a year now). Whatever, I need to pass ALL the subjects in the future no matter what. Since this essay requires my thoughts and ideas backed up by the academics on the specified topics, rather than the other way around, which has been the case in my B.Sc degree. Whichever one I would choose, I’d have to start it from somewhere. Let’s focus.

  •  Since the onset of the global economic crisis in 2007, many people believe that modern, western societies and their economic system, capitalism, are in crisis. To what extent do the writings of Marx help us understand the social and legal dimensions of this crisis? [This question sounds easy enough, but I guess most students in the class would be inclined to choose this one among many others.  Well, this one would be my safety option if I fail to think up proper arguments for that Foucault question.]
  •  “The key to understanding any society – for instance, what type of society it is, how complex, how it is integrated, whether or not it is well integrated, etc? – is to understand its legal system”. Does this statement accurately reflect Durkheim’s social theory? If so, why? If not, why not?
  • “For Weber, modern society is far to rational for its own good. It, and its key institutions, including law, are due for a big fall”. Does this statement accurately reflect Weber’s view of rationalisation and its effects on modern law and society? If so, why? If not, why not?
  • Modernity has traditionally been depicted as providing the highest realisation to date of human freedom and equality. Foucault and other so-called postmodern theorists have questioned this understanding of the contemporary western world. What, according to Foucault, is the status of freedom and equality in resent day western societies? What, in particular, is the status of the rule of law as an upholder of freedom and equality? [Currently reading Michel Foucault’s biography by Didier Eribon. However, to talk about Foucault, I have to be able to regurgitate the historical backgrounds of post-modernistic social theories. I cannot yet. May be once I finish this book. I should just finish the book off tonight before I go to bed.]

So there they are. Fortunately the lecturer has given us a list of reading materials for the relevant topics. Well, I doubt I’ll have the guts nor persistence to go over every single piece of excerpts (or should I?). Aye. What’s disturbing me? Anyway, I should just stop worrying about it and start reading. I have a long way to go. #

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