Why children follow rules: legal socialization and the development of legitimacy (Book Review)

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Piquero, Alex R
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2018
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Abstract

There may be no more historical – nor central – question in criminology than ‘why do people obey the law’, or its converse ‘why do people offend’. There are two main ways that we can get people to obey the law: coercively or consensually. The former is one in which people obey the law in large part because of the threat of sanctions and the apparatus of the formal criminal justice system and its process, while the latter is one where people are taught to comply with the law not out of fear but instead out of their perceived responsibility and duty as members of their community and larger society. With few exceptions, the research evidence clearly suggests that the latter is much more effective than the former. The question, then, for parents, teachers, researchers, and policymakers is centered squarely on getting people to obey the law because it is the right thing to do. The process by which that occurs is known as legal socialization and Tyler and Trinkner’s new book, Why Children Follow Rules: Legal Socialization and the Development of Legitimacy, provides the many constituents who are interested in rule-following as opposed to rule-breaking with the most comprehensive treatment of this literature the field has ever seen.

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Police Practice and Research

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19

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2

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Criminology

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Penology

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Piquero, AR, Why children follow rules: legal socialization and the development of legitimacy (Book Review), Police Practice and Research, 2018, 19 (2), pp. 202-204

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