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Sunday 25th of August 2019

Documentation Center

Why Children Follow Rules


Tom R. Tyler
Oxford University Press

Abstract

Legal socialization is the process by which children and adolescents acquire their law-related values, attitudes, and reasoning capacities. Such values and attitudes, in particular legitimacy, underlie the ability and willingness to consent to laws and defer to legal authorities that make legitimacy-based legal systems possible. By age 18 a person’s orientation toward law is largely established, yet legal scholarship has largely ignored this process in favor of studying adults and their relationship to the law.

“Why Children Follow Rules” focuses on legal socialization outlining what is known about the process across three related, but distinct, contexts: the family, the school, and the juvenile justice system. Throughout, the authors emphasize the degree to which individuals develop their orientations toward law and legal authority upon values connected to responsibility and obligation as opposed to fear of punishment. They argue that authorities can act in ways that internalize legal values and promote supportive attitudes. In particular, consensual legal authority is linked to three issues: how authorities make decisions, how they treat people, and whether they recognize the boundaries of their authority. When individuals experience authority that is fair, respectful, and aware of the limits of power, they are more likely to consent and follow directives.

Scope

North America - United States

Year Language

2018 English

Category Type

Publications Book

Keywords

Child, Development, Justice, Social

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