Law and Social Culture

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M. Saleh Sjafei , Rudy Pramono


This article was preliminary written in order to understand and explain the subject matter of legal culture in relation to the Acehnese society which is experiencing globalized rationalisation process. The descriptive explanatory understanding is based on agency-structure Giddens’s frame of reference.

It is stated that based on some experiences of Acehnese community as a part of nation and state as Indonesian shows that in the rational social transformation framework, agency-structure the mutual interaction relationship between law culture and traditional-social culture may enable to influence and redefine each other. At a time the society rationally produce consensus of legal culture that protect all differences, but at some other time the legal culture may determine all living rules for the community to avoid discrimination.

It seems to be impossible to admit that the colors of cultural value system in a developing country like Indonesia, which is still agrarian, tends to be different from cultural colors of the developed nation which is more industrialized. But, it does not mean that social culture can not experience some changes as a consequence of the objectivation of legal culture. Effort to defend local culture is an indication of a specialized ethnic group not to defend societal culture that is not condusive to the democratic global life as a characteristic of an open society.

The more socialistic local cultural transformation (communal natural tradition) toward legal culture which highly supportive of the presence of human rights (individualism artificially modern) that needs integrity of togetherness, nation, and globalized open-mindedness. The culture of local community which is traditionally charismatic in certain aspects tends to show inferiority by the community members toward legal culture that increasingly rise to rationality and universalism.

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