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Short and Sweet when Students Were Introduced to Department's Research

Students in the audience at The Panorama Day presentations

On Wednesday 29 January, the Sociology of Law Department hosted The Panorama Day, an annual relay seminar about ongoing research. For students, it was an opportunity to get an overview of the production of science at their current department, and deepen their understanding of the subject.

Roughly 120 students gathered at Lux auditorium to hear 16 presentations about research projects with titles like “Suspended at the Purgatory: Resistance and Legality in Northern Kurdistan”, “Between Risk and Legal Accountability. Law and the Regulation of Safety Norms in European Civil Aviation Maintenance”, and “Business as usual: Corporate defence strategies against accusations of crime”. Project titles usually summarize the main idea of the study, but without context, they can make research in any subject seem hopelessly esoteric.

At The Panorama Day, the department’s researchers get a chance to make their work more accessible to students during five-minute, pop scientific presentations. Cansu Bostan described her investigation of the alternative claims of legality and legitimacy raised by Kurds’ everyday resistance to the Turkish nation state’s power to decide who may live and who may die. John Woodlock explained his study of legal aspects in aircraft maintenance, and that maintenance workers purported fear of prosecution for making mistakes can impede safety reporting. Yet, Woodlock reassures, flying is “really really really really really really really safe, and is getting safer.” Isabel Schultz, who is three years deep into a study on how large companies defend themselves against criminal accusations, concluded that criminal behaviour can be learned in corporate boardrooms just as well as on the streets.

Måns Svensson presenting at The Panorama Day 2020. Photo: Theo Hagman-Rogowski

“The ingredients for good sociology of law are the same as the four traditional wedding components that makes for a happy marriage,” said Associate Professor Måns Svensson during his presentation of the subject at large. “Something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue”.

He explained that sociology of law is based on 100-year-old theories. The parts that are still relevant today were written during the industrialization, a period of intense societal change, similar to what we are experiencing today with digitalization, norm changes, artificial intelligence, and social media. Moreover, it is an interdisciplinary scientific field, borrowing from law, sociology, psychology, criminology, and so on.

What about something blue? “Getting the blues,” suggested a student in the audience. Svensson, however, had the police in mind – which similarly to depression, most people hope to avoid.

Visit the Lund University research portal to read more about active research projects at the Sociology of Law Department.