Advertisement

Community Change, Community Stasis, and the Law

  • Gary B. Melton

Abstract

A useful starting point for consideration of law and community psychology is to pose a literary existential question: why should a handbook on community psychology have a chapter on law? I suspect that the initial (and perhaps the only) answer that comes to the minds of most community psychologists is that the law represents a means of community change. One strategy that a community psychologist can stimulate when a class of people is mistreated is to “sue the bastards.” Indeed, if the conventional wisdom is to be believed (and empirical data suggest that in this matter it should not; see Galanter, 1983; Trubek. 1984), the predominant American response to interpersonal and class conflict is to resort to litigation. In popular lore, Perry Mason; Judge Wapner (or his successor, mayor-turned-TV-judge Ed Koch); the litigators at McKenzie, Brackman; and most recently, a spate of dramatic prosecutors and public defenders are the referees in, and sometimes the initiators of, social conflict–the bearers of the “big stick” who will ensure that justice triumphs. Play in the political arena may be limited to those with numbers and bucks big enough to be noticed, but the power of the law (so the image goes) is there to be exercised by he who is right, not necessarily he who is privileged. The courts theoretically offer an even playing field in which all actors, regardless of their wealth or their power in other arenas, are empowered to defend and promote their interests

Keywords

Legal System Procedural Justice Community Change Community Psychology Media Campaign 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Aladdin’s Castle v. City of Mesquite, 630 F.2d 1029 (5th Cir. 1980), rev’d in part and remanded, 455 U.S. 283 (1982)Google Scholar
  2. Arbogast, R. (1986). A proposal to regulate the manner of tobacco advertising. Journal of Health Politics, Policy, and Law, 11, 393–422Google Scholar
  3. Askin, F. (1972). Chilling effect: A view from the social sciences. Columbia Human Rights Law Review,4, 59–88Google Scholar
  4. Baker, M. D., Moore, S. E., & Wise, P. H. (1986). The impact of “bottle bill” legislation on the incidence of lacerations in childhood. American Journal of Public Health,76, 1243–1244PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bellah, R. N. (1975). The broken covenant: American civil religion in time of trial New York: Seabury. Bellotti v. Baird, 443 U.S. 622 (1979)Google Scholar
  6. Bersoff, D. N. (1987). Social science data and the Supreme Court: Lockhart as a case in point. American Psychologist, 42, 52–58CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Black, D. (1976). The behavior of law New York: AcademicGoogle Scholar
  8. Board of Education v. Pico, 457 U.S. 853 (1982)Google Scholar
  9. Bonnie, R. J. (1985). The efficacy of law as a paternalistic instrument. In G. B. Melton (Ed.), Nebraska Symposium on Motivation: The law as a behavioral instrument, (Vol. 33, pp. 131–211). Lincoln: University of Nebraska PressGoogle Scholar
  10. Bronfenbrenner, U. (1974) Developmental research, public policy, and the ecology of childhood. Child Development, 45, 1–5 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483 (1954)Google Scholar
  12. Carroll, J. M. (1978). Psychological approach to deterrence. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology,36, 1512–1520CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Carroll, S. L., & Gaston, R. J. (1981). Occupational restrictions and the quality of services received: Some evidence. Southern Economic Journal, 47, 959–976CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Danish, S. J., & Smyer, M. A. (1981). Unintended consequences of requiring a license to help. American Psychologist, 36,13–21PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Galanter, M. (1974). Why the “haves” come out ahead: Speculations on the limits of legal change. Law and Society Review, 9, 95–160CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Galanter, M. (1983). Reading the landscape of disputes: What we know and don’t know (and think we know) about our allegedly contentious and litigious society. UCLA Law Review, 31,4–71Google Scholar
  17. Garner, D. W. (1986). Tobacco sampling, public policy and the law. Journal of Health Politics, Policy, and Law, 11, 423–439CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Geertz, C. (1980). Negara: The theatre state in nineteenth-century Bali. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University PressGoogle Scholar
  19. Geller, E. S., Koltuniak, T. A., & Shilling, J. S. (1983). Response avoidance prompting: A cost-effective strategy for theft deterrence. Behavioral Counseling and Community Interventions, 3, 28–42Google Scholar
  20. Gibbs, J. P. (1985). Deterrence theory and research. In G. B. Melton (Ed.), Nebraska Symposium on Motivation: Vol. 33. The law as a behavioral instrument (pp. 87–130). Lincoln: University of Nebraska PressGoogle Scholar
  21. Herr, S. S. (1987). The future of advocacy for persons with mental disabilities. Rutgers Law Review, 39, 443–486. Hodgson v. Minnesota, 827 E2d 1191 (8th Cir. 1987) (reh’g granted and opinion vacated and withdrawn), 497 U.S. 417 (1990)Google Scholar
  22. Johnson, C. A. (1979). Judicial decisions and organization change: Some theoretical and empirical notes on state court decisions and state administrative agencies. Law and Society Review, 14, 27–56Google Scholar
  23. Kleinman, J. C., & Kopstein, A. (1987). Smoking during pregnancy, 1967–80. American Journal of Public Health, 77, 823–825PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Koocher, G. P. (1987). Children under law: The paradigm of consent. In G. B. Melton (Ed.), Reforming the law: Impact of child development research (pp. 3–26). New York: GuilfordGoogle Scholar
  25. Lampson, M. (1983). Senate subcommittee reviews Justice Department’s enforcement of Section 504 and CRIPA. Mental Disability Law Reporter, 7, 492–493Google Scholar
  26. Lassiter v. Department of Social Services, 452 U.S. 18 (1981)Google Scholar
  27. Lerner, M. J., & Lerner, S. C. (Eds.). (1981). The justice motive in social behavior: Adapting to times of scarcity and change New York: PlenumGoogle Scholar
  28. Lewit, E. M., Coate, D., & Grossman, M. (1981). The effects of government regulation on teenage smoking. Journal of Law and Economics, 24, 545–569CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Lind, E. A., & Tyler, T. R. (1988). The social psychology of procedural justice New York: PlenumGoogle Scholar
  30. Lockhart v. McCree, 476 U.S. 162 (1986)Google Scholar
  31. Loh, W. D. (1984). Social research in the judicial process: Cases,readings, and text New York: Russell Sage FoundationGoogle Scholar
  32. Mashaw, J. L. (1983). Bureaucratic justice: Managing social security disability claims. New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University PressGoogle Scholar
  33. McCleskey a Kemp, 481 U.S. 279 (1987)Google Scholar
  34. McNees, M. P., Egli, D. S., Marshall, R. S., Schnelle, J. F., & Risley, T. R. (1976). Shoplifting prevention: Providing information through signs. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 9, 399–405PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. McNees, M. P., Kennon, M., Schnelle, J. F., Kirchner, R. E., & Thomas, M. M. (1980). An experimental analysis of a program to reduce retail theft. American Journal of Community Psychology, 8,379–385PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Mecham, G. D. (1968). Proceed with caution: Which penalties slow down the juvenile traffic offender? Crime and Delinquency, 14, 142–150CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Melton, G. B. (1983). Community psychology and rural legal systems. In A. W. Childs & G. B. Melton (Eds.), Rural psychology (pp. 359–380). New York: PlenumCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Melton, G. B. (1984). Developmental psychology and the law: The state of the art. Journal of Family Law, 22,445–482Google Scholar
  39. Melton, G. B. (1986). Litigation In the interest of children: Does anybody win? Law and Human Behavior, 10, 337–353CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Melton, G. B. (1987a). Bringing psychology to the legal system: Opportunities, obstacles, and efficacy. American Psychologist, 42,488–495CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Melton, G. B. (Ed.). (1987b). Reforming the law: Impact of child development research New York: GuilfordGoogle Scholar
  42. Melton, G. B. (1987c). The clashing of symbols: Prelude to child and family policy. American Psychologist, 42, 345–354CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Melton, G. B. (1988). The significance of law in the everyday life of children and families Georgia Law Review, 22, 851–895Google Scholar
  44. Melton, G. B. (1990). Law, science, and humanity: The normative foundation of social science in law. Law and Human Behavior, 14, 315–332CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Melton, G. B. (1992). The law is a good thing (psychology is, too): Human rights in psychological jurisprudence. Law and Human Behavior, 16, 381–398CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Melton, G. B. (1998a). Parents and children. Family Futures, 2, 10–14Google Scholar
  47. Melton, G. B. (1998b). Facilitating children’s participation: A framework for legal reform Report to the Israeli Ministry of JusticeGoogle Scholar
  48. Melton, G. B., & Garrison, E. G. (1987). Fear, prejudice, and neglect: Discrimination against mentally disabled persons. American Psychologist, 42, 1007–1026PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Melton, G. B., Goodman, G. S., Kalichman, S. C., Levine, M., & Koocher, G. P. (1995). Empirical research on child maltreatment and the law. (Report of the American Psychological Association Working Group on Legal Issues Related to Child Abuse and Neglect). Journal of Clinical Child Psychology,24(Suppl.), 47–77Google Scholar
  50. Melton, G. B., Koocher, G. P., & Saks, M. J. (Eds.). (1983). Children’s competence to consent New York: PlenumCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Melton, G. B., & Limber, S. (1989). Psychologists’ involvement in cases of child maltreatment: Limits of role and expertise. American Psychologist, 44, 1225–1233PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Melton, G. B., Monahan, J., & Saks, M. J. (1987). Psychologists as law professors. American Psychologist, 42,502–509CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Melton, G. B., Petrila, J., Poythress, N. G., Jr., & Slobogin, C. (1997). Psychological evaluations for the courts: A handbook for mental health professionals and lawyers (2nd ed.) New York: GuilfordGoogle Scholar
  54. Melton, G. B., & Saks, M. J. (1985). The law as an instrument of socialization and social structure. In G. B. Melton (Ed.), The law as a behavioral instrument (pp. 235–277). Lincoln: University of Nebraska PressGoogle Scholar
  55. Melton, G. B., Weithorn, L. A., & Slobogin, C. (1985). Community mental health centers and the courts: An evaluation of community-based forensic services Lincoln: University of Nebraska PressGoogle Scholar
  56. Michael H. v. Gerald D, 491 U.S. 110 (1989)Google Scholar
  57. Mnookin, R. H. (Ed.) (1985). In the interest of children: Advocacy,law reform, and public policy New York: W. H. FreemanGoogle Scholar
  58. Monahan, J., & Walker, L. (1998). Social science in law: Cases and materials (4th ed.). Westbury, NY: Foundation PressGoogle Scholar
  59. Nader, L., & Todd, H. (Eds.). (1978). The disputing process: Law in ten societies New York: Columbia University PressGoogle Scholar
  60. New York State Association for Retarded Children, Inc, v. Carly 393 E Suppl. 715 (E.D.N.Y. 1978)Google Scholar
  61. Orr, L. D. (1982). Goals, risks, and choices. Risk Analysis, 2, 239–242CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Pennhurst State School & Hospital v. Halderman, 465 U.S. 89 (1984)Google Scholar
  63. Pospisil, L. (1971). Anthropology of law: A comparative theory New York: Harper & RowGoogle Scholar
  64. Repucci, N. D. (1977). Implementation issues for the behavior modifier as institutional change agent. Behavior Therapy, 8, 594–605CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Rosen, D. (1984). Democracy and demographics: The inevitability of a class-based interpretation. University of Dayton Law Review, 10,37–96Google Scholar
  66. Rossell, C. H. (1978). School desegregation and community social change. Law and Contemporary Problems,42, 133–183CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Rothman, D. J., & Rothman, S. M. (1984). The Willowbrook wars New York: Harper & RowGoogle Scholar
  68. Saks, M. J. (1986). The law does not live by eyewitness testimony alone. Law and Human Behavior,10, 279–280CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Schwartz, R. D., & Orleans, S. (1967). On legal sanctions. University of Chicago Law Review, 34,274–300CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Stephan, W. G. (1978). School desegregation: An evaluation of predictions made in Brown v. Board of Education. Psychological Bulletin, 85,217–238CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Tapp, J. L., & Levine, F. J. (1974). Legal socialization: Strategies for an ethical legality. Stanford Law Review, 27, 1–72CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Tapp, J. L., & Melton, G. B. (1983). Preparing children for decision making: Implications of legal socialization research. In G. B. Melton (Ed.), Children’s competence to consent,(pp. 215–233). New York: PlenumCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Task Force on Psychology and Public Policy. (1986). American Psychologist, 41,914–921CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Thibaut, J., & Walker, L. (1978). A theory of procedure. California Law Review, 66, 541–566CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Thompson, R. A., Tinsley, B. R., Scalora, M. J., & Parke, R. D. (1989). Grandparents’ visitation rights: Legalizing the ties that bind. American Psychologist, 44,1217–1222CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Tremper, C. R. (1987). The high road to the bench: Presenting research findings in appellate briefs. In G. B. Melton (Ed.), Reforming the law: Impact of child development research (pp. 199–231). New York: GuilfordGoogle Scholar
  77. Trubek, D. (1984). Turning away from law. Michigan Law Review, 82,824–835CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Tyler, T. R. (1987). The psychology of disputant concerns in mediation. Negotiation Journal, 3, 367–374. Tyler, T. R. (1988). What is procedural justice? Law and Society Review,22, 301–355Google Scholar
  79. Vi rginia Board of Pharmacy v Vi rginia Consumers Council, Inc, 425 U.S. 748 (1976)Google Scholar
  80. Unger, R. M. (1983). The critical legal studies movement. Harvard Law Review, 96,561–676CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Vidmar, N. (1984). The small claims court: A reconceptualization of disputes and an empirical investigation. Law and Society Review,18, 515–550CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Vidmar, N. (1987). Assessing the effects of case characteristics and settlement forum on dispute outcomes and compliance. Law and Society Review, 21, 155–164CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. Warner, K. E., Ernster, V. L., Holbrook, J. H., Lewit, E. M., Pertschuk, M., Steinfeld, J. L., Tye, J. B., & Whelan, E. M. (1986). Promotion of tobacco products: Issues and policy options. Journal of Health Politics, Policy,and Law, 11,367–392Google Scholar
  84. Woodward, C. V. (1974). The strange career of Jim Crow New York: Oxford University Press. Youngberg v. Romeo, 457 U.S. 309 (1982)Google Scholar
  85. Zimring, F., & Hawkins, G. (1977). The legal threat as an instrument of social change. In J. L. Tapp & F. J. Levine (Eds.), Law, justice, and the individual in society: Psychological and legal issues (pp. 60–68). New York: Holt, Rinehart and WinstonGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gary B. Melton
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute on Family and Neighborhood LifeClemson UniversityUSA

Personalised recommendations