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Business LibreTexts

Legal Sociology

  • Page ID
    10323
  • Christoph Beat Graber
    Legal Sociology

    I.What is Legal Sociology?

    1.Discipline

    2.Method

    II.Law, Society and Direct Democracy

    1.Political Autonomy

    2.Direct Democracy

    3.Public Service Broadcasting

    a)Media Consumption and the Internet

    b)Personalisation Technologies

    III.Summary

    Selected Bibliography

    The purpose of this text is to introduce legal sociology in Switzerland. As a first step, the location of legal sociology as a discipline within legal science is discussed and the methodology of this sub-discipline of the law is explained. Thereafter, a case study is employed to exemplify how legal sociology can be used to analyse the interrelationship between society, technology, and the law in the context of both the proper functioning of the specific form of direct democracy that exists in Switzerland and the constitutional safeguards that are in place to secure its prerequisites. Techno-economic developments have fundamentally changed the media sector. In Switzerland, this has raised the question of whether the personalisation of news reporting conflicts with the constitutional duties of the Swiss Radio and Television Corporation (SRG), the main public service broadcaster. This question arises specifically out of the formation of Admeira, a joint venture between SRG, Ringier (a media company) and Swisscom (the incumbent Swiss telecom company). Admeira allows SRG to benefit from Swisscom’s large customer data volumes and broad experience in the use of targeting technologies, but raises some concern regarding their constitutional function in Switzerland.