Havrylovska K. P. Social Construction of Legal Reality.

(2016) Science and education, 5, 157-161. Odessa.

Kseniya Havrylovska,
(PhD) Candidate of Psychological Sciences,
associate professor, Department of Social and Applied Psychology,
Zhytomyr State University named after Ivan Franko,
40, Velyka Berdychivska Str., Zhytomyr, Ukraine



SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION OF LEGAL REALITY


SUMMARY:

The relevance of the study can be explained by the fact that the constant rise of crime is being reflected in mass legal mentality, which is considered as a sphere of mass mentality that reflects the peculiarities of the interaction of citizens with the legal system of the state, and has quite systematic understanding of the development of the legal situation in the country. The process of person’s legal behaviour modelling occurs at the unconscious level of reflection of legal reality. The article is aimed at identifying the psychosemantical characteristics of the offender’s image in mass mentality. The image of the offender is a set of psychological, moral and other qualities of the person who committed a crime, which have emerged in mass consciousness and have a strong emotional colouring. The offender’s image is formed in the process of social construction of legal reality, which is inextricably connected with the social perception of the legal system of the state. Social perception takes place with the active participation of thinking, as perceptual images always have certain semantic meaning. Social perception is completed by the creation of the image, which is based on interpretation and is a result of reflection. It has been found that the offender’s image in mass mentality has negative emotional colouring and is described mainly in legal terms. According to the results of the associative experiment (stimulus-word “criminal”), such word-associations as “murderer” and “prison” have the highest repetition frequency. Furthermore, there is a tendency in mass mentality not to condemn strictly the persons who committed administrative violations (as opposed to criminal offense). According to the research results, many people are sure that thieves can easily avoid punishment and imprisonment, which is considered to be quite an alarming result. Herewith, the obtained results show people’s strong desire to establish social justice.


KEYWORDS:

mass legal mentality, social modelling, social perception, image of the law, image of the criminal.


FULL TEXT:


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