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From birth certificates and marriage licences to food safety regulations and speed limits, law shapes nearly every moment of our lives. Ubiquitous and ambivalent, the law is charged with both maintaining social order and protecting invividual freedom. This book explores this ambivalence and documents the complex relationship between the web of law and everyday life.;It considers the forms and functions of the law, charting the American legal structure and judicial process, and explaining key legal roles. The book then details how it influences the development of individual identity and human relationships at every stage of our life cycle, from conception to the grave. The authors also use the word ""web"" in in technological sense, providing a section at the end of each chapter that directs students to relevant and uneful Internet sites.;Written for upper-level undergraduate and graduate students in law and society courses, ""Law and the Web of Society"" contains original research that also makes it useful to scholars. In asking difficult questions such as ""When does life begin?"" and ""Where does law begin?"" this book aims to stimulate thought and debate even as it presents practical answers.