Changes in behavior are not the only example of social change - there are also shifts in social and cultural beliefs and practices. Although such shifts can create pressure for law reform, like behavioral change, they tend to be more gradual. Attitudes towards law reform of this type are also different. The shifts prompted by the women’s and civil rights movements are reflected in the repeal of discriminatory laws and the enactment of laws prohibiting certain forms of discrimination. However, unlike technological change, reformers rarely argued that the law had ceased to be good law because of social change. Instead, they usually argued that the law was always bad and all that has changed is the social awareness of how bad it was. For example, few would argue today that the legal subordination of African-Americans was ever justified. Legal responses to technological change are not perceived in the same way. Few would suggest that laws regulating railroads were desirable before any track was laid or that uncertainties regarding the identification of the mother of a child conceived in vitro needed to be resolved before the separation of gestational and genetic motherhood became a technical possibility. Therefore, although changes in belief, like technological changes, generate reasons to change the law, the reasons are of a different type. Changes in the law are not justified on the basis of the fact of social change, but rather on the basis of general principles such as justice and fairness.
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Schedule, 2/2/09 through 3/5/09
|Feb. 2, 4||Arthur Cockfield|
|Feb. 6, 8||Frank Pasquale|
|Feb. 10, 12||Jennifer Chandler|
|Feb. 14, 16||Kieran Tranter|
|Feb. 18, 20||Gaia Bernstein|
|Feb. 22, 24||Lyria Bennett-Moses|
|Feb. 26, 28||Lisa Austin|
|March 3, 5||Samuel Trosow|
Schedule, 11/27/06 through 2/12/07
Tech Theory Essentials
- Distinguishing law and behavioral change
- Recurring dilemmas
- Introducing Lyria Bennett Moses
- Commercial Privacy on the Internet and Diffusion C...
- Preventive, Non-Triable and Centralized Technologi...
- Diffusion Characteristics and the Genetic Discrimi...
- Technological Diffusion Characteristics as a Polic...
- Introducing Gaia Bernstein
- Wrapping Up...For Now
- Two Relationships Between Technology and Values
Subscribe to Tech Theory