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Why Children Follow Rules – Legal Socialization and the Development of Legitimacy - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Why Children Follow Rules: Legal Socialization and the Development of Legitimacy

Tom R. Tyler and Rick Trinkner


Legal socialization is the process by which children and adolescents acquire their law-related values. Such values, in particular legitimacy, underlie the ability and willingness to consent to laws and defer to legal authorities and make legitimacy-based legal systems possible. In their absence people relate to the law as coercion and respond to rewards and punishments. By age eighteen a person’s orientation toward law is largely established, yet recent legal scholarship has largely ignored this early period in favor of studying adults and their relationship to the law. This volume focuses upo ... More

Keywords: legal socialization, authority, coercion, consent, legitimacy, family dynamics, classroom justice, juvenile justice system, delinquency, bullying

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2018 Print ISBN-13: 9780190644147
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2017 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190644147.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Tom R. Tyler, author
Macklin Fleming Professor of Law and Professor of Psychology, Yale University

Rick Trinkner, author
Assistant Professor, School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Arizona State University