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Karolina Kocemba, ‘Space and Socialization in Legal Education: A Symbolic Interactionism Approach’, 2021, april-juni, DOI: 10.5553/REM/.000050

DOI: 10.5553/REM/.000050

Law and MethodAccess_open


Space and Socialization in Legal Education: A Symbolic Interactionism Approach

Special Issue on Pragmatism and Legal Education, Sanne ­Taekema & Thomas Riesthuis (eds.)

Trefwoorden legal education, pragmatism, symbolic interactionism, sociology of space
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Karolina Kocemba, 'Space and Socialization in Legal Education: A Symbolic Interactionism Approach', LaM april 2021, DOI: 10.5553/REM/.000050

    The article deals with the possibility of socializing law students through space. It first indicates which features of space affect the possibility of influencing interactions and identity. It then discusses how we can use symbolic interactionism to study interactions and socialization in spaces of law faculties. Then, on the basis of the interviews conducted with law faculty students about their space perception, it shows how to research student socialization through space and how far-reaching its effects can be.

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    • 1. Introduction

      Law studies play a crucial role in lawyers’ creation; legal education is a common ground for all lawyers and all legal professions. Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States Felix Frankfurter once said that ‘the law and lawyers are what the law schools make them’ (Wizner, 2002, p. 1929). What is more, assuming that we reproduce relationships, we can see that legal education can indirectly affect law and society, by the fact that lawyers play a significant role in them. American pragmatist John Dewey emphasizes that human actions can have indirect consequences; they can affect others besides those directly involved. A conversation between two people can also have consequences for other people, in which case it is not a private conversation but a public one. Therefore, legal education affects others: it has indirect consequences for society (Dewey & Rogers, 2012). When we look at how lawyers are formed (at law students’ socialization), we see what their role in society is and what relationships are promoted. This allows us to suggest what should be changed to develop democratic attitudes instead of hierarchical ones in lawyers.
      Little research has been done on socialization by space in legal education, and thus we do not yet know exactly how space affects socialization. My article seeks to explore this issue by explaining how space and socialization can be studied in the context of legal education by considering the perspective of symbolic interactionism. We may use my own empirical research as a test case of this approach. Preliminary research that I conducted (in-depth interviews with law students) showed that they were socialized not only through interactions but also through space (which influenced them). There is no sphere of life without space: space surrounds us, it is omnipresent. Architecture is the background of everyday life that we experience through small fragments and details. That is why we can treat space as a shaping factor, even though it seems unimportant because it often remains in the background (Rybczyński, 2013); spatial influence can be invisible at first glance. German sociologist Martina Löw emphasizes that space is rarely considered in sociological research, which can relate to the omnipresence of space but also by methodological problems that follow from the concept of space (Löw, 2016).
      Therefore, in my article, I first outline how socialization occurs. In the next section, I show what features of space contribute to the possibility of socialization. The following section shows why it is useful to research from the perspective of symbolic interactionism. Finally, I present the methods that can be used to conduct empirical research and the results of in-depth interviews I conducted with law students in Poland.

    • 2. Socialization of Law Students

      Educational institutions fulfil the function of socializing students, and socialization during law studies itself impacts what kind of lawyers law students will become in the future. German pedagogue Klaus Jurgen Tillmann writes that socialization is ‘a process of the creation and development of the personality that takes place in interdependence with the socially transmitted social and material environment’ (Tillmann, 2011). Here I shall make a few remarks. First, all environmental factors can influence the process of socialization; to a greater or lesser extent they are social. Second, the essence of socialization is the development of the human personality. Personality is shaped by the experiences of the individual, and hence the previous experience never disappears but creates a kind of base that influences perception and new experiences and interacts with the new ones. It must, therefore, be concluded that the individual takes an active part in the socialization process.
      Socialization has a lasting influence on the development of the human personality. With legal education, we are dealing with secondary socialization because primary socialization occurs only in childhood (it is the first socialization in life). In the process of secondary socialization, the individual takes on the roles and attitudes of others and their world. That is why secondary socialization (which in the role’s case of lawyers occurs in legal education) is the adaptation to the role of a lawyer. Canadian-American sociologist Erving Goffman, whose works correspond with symbolic interactionism, states that the ‘role’ is the basic unit of socialization: through the role there is a separation of tasks in society (Goffman, 1961). Thus, the individual also gains knowledge about the roles that may arise from the division of labour. He or she also masters the vocabulary that is related to roles and habits, interpretations, behaviours, hidden meanings and evaluations (Berger & Luckmann, 1991). Goffman emphasizes that everyone always plays a role, more or less consciously.
      The others can know us from these roles that we lay before them as actors. We can say that we wear different masks, depending on the situation and that there is a possibility that one mask will become a part of a person’s self-identity. A person can also treat the role cynically, without identifying with the role (Goffman, 1956). During role-play, the individual expects a particular reaction to his or her behaviour (Goffman, 1956) and should look at the other side’s (person) actions in the interaction. That is why we have to say that interactions influence both partners: fitting the partner’s actions is crucial. It must be emphasized that role expectations are not rigid: they are always reinterpreted in context-specific situations. The individual in the interactions is not passive, because he or she is interpreting situations and expectations (Tillmann, 2011). It is worth adding that individuals’ socialization is taking place multidimensionally, through direct interactions and the observation of other interactions. Law students have to play the role of law students, but they are learning about the role of a lawyer through the interactions and observation of teachers (who are lawyers), for example, about attitudes, hierarchies, language, body language and dress code. During socialization, they become familiar with the role of a lawyer.

    • 3. Spatial Influence

      I assume the role is also affected by space because space is not neutral; it affects relationships and depends on them. Löw, in her book Sociology of space, proposes the definition of relational space. She defines it as follows: ‘Space is a relational arrangement of living beings and social goods at places. Space is constituted by two processes that must be analytically distinguished: spacing and the operation of synthesis’ (Löw, 2016, p. 232). Simplifying, we can say that space is the arrangement of people and things entangled in relations in a concrete place.
      ‘Spacing’ refers to locating things, people and symbolic marks: placing goods on shelves, seating people at the tables, fixing plates with names and inscriptions, which creates social prefabrication of space. The operation of ‘synthesis’, on the other hand, is a perception, imagination or reminding, through which goods and people integrate into one space (Löw, 2016, p. 135): people, tables, covers and dishes become a wedding; students, desks and chalkboard become a class. It is a process started by the idea, continued by project and creation of space. Löw states that spaces precisely construct social relations. She emphasizes that people actively construct space (Löw, 2016). Space is shaped and is shaping during routine actions. British geographer Doreen Massey underlines that space is the background and context of social processes because of how it structures social relations. In her opinion, space is created in interaction because of what is continuously constructed (Massey, 2005, p. 9). Therefore, space and social relations should be jointly researched (Löw, 2016).
      Human behaviour that stems from socialization has a chance of being perpetuated and reproduced through the repetitiveness that institutions provide. According to Giddens, through routine, customary repetition of everyday activities, social institutions reproduce and habitualize their activities (Giddens, 1984). Berger and Luckmann also claim that the reality of everyday life is maintained through routine, which is actually the essence of institutionalization (Berger & Luckmann, 1991, p. 208). Therefore, socialization is a process; space is an excellent tool of socialization because it permits similarly repeating interactions. It is worth noting that the common background for all interactions is the space where socialization takes place. Space is a constant element in everyday routine interactions. However, space is not just a background; there is a unique relationship between space and interactions. Space affects interactions, and interactions affect space (Löw, 2016). This relationship is also fluid; both space and interactions are changeable, renegotiable, re-arrangeable. However, relations have a more significant impact on space. In essence, the very creation of space is associated with given power relations, ­ideas and concrete assumptions that are reflected in space. This affects the interactions that take place in it. Interactions influence another spatial change.
      The most interesting appears to be the process of space and interaction construction: observing these processes permits us to get to know how power relations are created and what patterns are transmitted to the students. That is why research on socialization should be focused on everyday life: space and interactions are constructed not by one event but because of routine and daily actions (Löw, 2016). For this reason, socialization is most visible in organizations or communities, where people meet and interact regularly. Longer time permits socializing or creating a specific attitude in organizations, for example, in schools or universities. Mere spatial influence might be unnoticeable for participants because of routine. Routine provides a sense of security (Giddens, 1984, p. 60). At some point, everyday activities become habits as the brain looks for ways to organize the effort ­(Duhigg, 2013). This is an expected and natural action. Habits help in organizing everyday life (Löw, 2016). According to Giddens, people move along the paths of daily activities in the institutions, where actions are reproduced (Giddens, 1984). However, out of habit, space participants may not notice how space works on them. Similarly, as Löw underlines, people rarely communicate about how they create spaces (Löw, 2016). The university authorities rather duplicate the schemes and ideas they are familiar with. This is because they often act in a repetitive, even habitual way. All known patterns are therefore reproduced; there is rarely a reflection on whether such space is, for example, useful. Löw argues that, except for everyday actions, the structure of space, body arrangement, change potential, symbolic meaning and creation of the atmosphere are crucial for space constitution (Löw, 2016, pp. 129-188).
      Since space is shaped by the determination of the human position in space (the spacing), this can affect the interaction, which also causes tensions because of the disclosure of power, domination, discipline and hierarchy. This leads us to the conclusion that there must be a place where relations form, where individuals take their actions. Therefore, one cannot expect to separate space from society. An empty building does not say much about interactions, but the arrangement of a building permits us to imagine what interactions are possible in that space. We can observe spaces during everyday activities, which show how space is being used. However, it is important to ask the participants about their perception. An empty university hall can be a perfect place for standing, a cocktail party, but not exactly to spend time there between classes.
      This relational conception of space is the opposite of the absolutistic conception of space, which distinguishes space and action: space exists independently of the action (Löw, 2016). Architecture has always socialized and influenced users of space because of its features, but the breakthrough came when people realized its impact. Foucault points out that in the 18th century, reflection on the influence of architecture developed, and architecture was perceived as a tool and technique for governing societies. People started to think about the meaning of space for society. Since that time, each treaty on politics (as the art of governing people) has always contained one or more chapters on architecture, urban planning or public facilities. Control could take place without police intervention, but because of buildings’ arrangements. Hierarchical influence connects with disciplinary power: a concept coined by Foucault. He argues that discipline is the mechanism of power that regulates individuals’ behaviours in the social body, through the organization of space, time or people’s behaviours. That is why disciplinary power finds an outlet precisely in the space. Particular space is used to supervise and keep the hierarchy. Socialization through space takes place outside the reflection and consciousness of education participants. That is why the influence of physical space is often invisible and masked (Foucault, 1995).

    • 4. Symbolic Interactionism

      Assuming that socialization occurs through interactions and that interactions are shaped by space, we can admit that students can be socialized by space. In any case, it is still not obvious how to research it and how to analyse the results. If we are interested more in the processes than in the effects of socialization, pragmatism is a helpful tool (in the form of symbolic interactionism) in studying the role of space in law students’ socialization. Why? First, it is worth emphasizing that symbolic interactionism is a perspective, which focuses on relations and human interactions and the study of everyday life. Symbolic interactionism focuses on how people treat meanings appearing in interactions that belong to social life (Dupert, 2010).
      It is a perspective that can be used for group life research: all its elements are connected and dependent on each other. Thanks to interactionism, we can research these interactions that influence the lawyer’s socialization. It is worth mentioning that this approach does not focus only on the group but permits one to see the meaning for the individual too and for his or her subjective point of view, which we can get to know by looking at the context, especially at the interactions between individuals. That is why symbolic interactionism permits us to answer the question, how is a lawyer created?
      Although significant events do influence us, socialization is a process that takes place during everyday actions, practices and interactions. It is more crucial to examine a student’s everyday life than, for example, one event. For instance, the curriculum (teaching subjects) is admittedly essential, but to examine socialization, it is more crucial to look at the way of teaching, to look at the unofficial side of law faculties and to include the ‘unofficial’ voices. We can get to know hierarchical relations only after decoding interactions. Factual hierarchy does not have to overlap with its official form.
      In order to design this research we first have to look at the categories and assumptions of symbolic interactionism, an orientation developed from pragmatism. Polish pragmatist Leszek Koczanowicz treats it as a philosophy of dialogue, which looks for the sources of people’s cooperation (Koczanowicz, 2014). The theory is based on three premises. According to the first premise, human beings act towards objects on the basis of meanings that these objects have for them. Objects include physical objects, institutions, categories of people like friends or enemies. The second premise is that the meanings of such objects derive from the social interactions that connect the individual with its surroundings. The third premise is that people use these meanings and change them in the processes of interpretation to which they subject the objects they encounter (Blumer, 1986). Meaning is one of the central categories for interactionism, as defined by Mead:

      Meaning arises and lies within the field of the relation between the gesture of a given human organism and the subsequent behavior of this organism as indicated to another human organism by that gesture. If that gesture does so indicate to another organism the subsequent (or resultant) behavior of the given organism, then it has meaning. In other words, the relationship between a given stimulus as a gesture – and the later phases of the social act of which it is early (if not the initial) phase constitutes the field within which meaning originates and exists. (Mead, 1934, p. 76)

      The communication act has to evoke a response, according to which the meaning arises (Koczanowicz, 2014, pp. 17-20). In other words, meaning appears in the dialogue during influencing. The essential condition for the existence of interaction is the presence of a minimum of two parties: interaction is possible between members of the community. It is a mutual influence for people who have gone through the process of socialization, who adopted the system of meanings and values of the group to which they belong (Hałas, 2006, p. 110).
      A symbolic interactionist approach permits us to analyse the social context of human interaction. Blumer indicates that if we want to know people’s behaviours (that influence a lawyer’s socialization), we have to identify the world of their objects (Blumer, 1986). During the interactions, individuals act precisely in the roles (Tillmann, 2011), for example, the role of law student and law professor, mother and daughter, employer and employee. What is clear, is that one person is entangled in many connections (Tillmann, 2011). Basically, through the interactions, we also have to consider the context of the interactions. Symbolic interactionism helps us not only in research design but also in data collection. Thanks to interactionism, we can primarily examine these relations, which undoubtedly have a significant impact on the socialization of law students. Symbolic interactionism allows us to get to know both the individual point of view and group values. We can then see what is happening in the world of individuals, and not just what the official documents indicate.

    • 5. Researching Interactions in Spaces of Legal Education

      Discovering the hidden meaning of space is possible, but only with the use of a proper method. Danish architect Steen Eiler Rasmussen proposes a thesis that architecture should be experienced (Rasmussen, 1962). This thesis might be a handy tool for researching interactions in space and lead us to find a proper method. We shall assume that we have to check on our skin how a particular space influences us. Alternatively, ask someone about space’s perception. My preliminary research – in-depth interviews – led me to the assumption that conducting only interviews may not help capture the full picture of socialization through space, although the conclusions are very helpful. Likewise, it is not enough to observe space. Observing space from a distance would probably not cause any sensations. Its impact on relationships would not be noticeable. It is necessary to check and get to know the spatial influence from different points of view: from the points of view of the participants. This type of approach forces the study of the impact of space through participatory observation complemented by interviews with legal education participants from a symbolic interactionism point of view. The connection between those two methods would give us the most detailed picture of legal education. Participatory observation is a qualitative method that might be useful in sociolegal studies research. Marc Simon Thomas proposes that participant observation combines two activities: pure observation and pure participation. The researcher has to get information by interacting with studied people and the involvement of their activities and by observing people, their activities, their rituals, their culture and their environment (Simon Thomas, 2019). It is worth emphasizing that space is a part of the environment. The essence of this method is conducting observation from an insider’s perspective, looking at everyday life from an insider’s point of view. This perspective is not only observed but also experienced. It is crucial to ‘get to know how and why people behave the way they do’ (Simon Thomas, 2019).
      Another way of obtaining this knowledge is by conducting in-depth interviews, a method that permits us to get to know the point of view of the participant. In the year 2017, I conducted five in-depth interviews with law students (1st grade student, 3rd grade student, 4th grade student, 5th grade student and graduate, both genders) at the University of Wrocław about their socialization. In this study the questions that I asked were divided into four categories: dialogue, exams, time and space. In pedagogy, many works have investigated the operation of the hidden meaning. The operation of the hidden meaning in education is possible in many educational areas, but in order to discover it one must first distinguish these areas. In his book The Sociology of Education, Roland Meighan describes how the hidden meaning interacts in such areas as space, timetable – time, official curriculum, organization, teacher’s expectations, language and assessment – examination (Meighan & Harber, 2007). I used these categories to see the socialization (which is hidden) within these areas. I tried to see how law students dealt with socialization. The answers showed that students could somehow deal with attempts of hidden socialization through the dialogue, exams and time but could not react to their socialization by space. This means that space can influence students without interference, according to the plan of law faculty authorities, which finds an outlet in the architectural design and building arrangement. That is why the use of space influence by law faculty authorities can be treated as the easiest form of shaping law students.
      This study was not representative in the full sense of the word because of a sample. I treated it as a trial, preliminary study aimed at testing this approach and creating grounds for future research. Researched law faculty of the University of Wrocław is one of the largest and oldest universities in Poland and usually ranks among the top five. That is why we cannot relate the results to smaller universities. Furthermore, these methods can be applied to the research of other faculties, but they may look very different from law faculties: other professions will have gone through different socialization, and their role in society will be different.
      It must be emphasized that researching interactions in spaces should be systematized. It is necessary to think about what elements of space should be researched to see how space influences interactions. Looking at the theories (Dym­nicka, 2013; Miller, 1998; Rapoport, 1990; Stępień, 2018), we can distinguish essential elements: architecture, access to space, the meaning of space, mobility of elements and its arrangement and comfort and its perception. This kind of distinction helps organize questions in interviews and in the research analyses. This division could also be helpful in creating an observation questionnaire.
      The first distinguished element, architecture, is understood as fine art alongside painting and sculpture, but it is mainly public art (Rasmussen, 1962). Since it is ‘public art’, the design of a given space is commissioned to the architect by a public entity. This is also the case with law faculties. Therefore, the scope of freedom in the architect’s vision will be regulated by the commissioning entity. It is up to the authority to specify what they will require from the design (Rasmussen, 1962). Moreover, their ideas on what a given space should look like are culturally fixed. As I mentioned before, spatial patterns and schemes are reproduced rather than reconsidered. This means that university authorities do not have to be conscious of the power of space: their roles also can be structured by space.
      We can use architecture to discover social ideology and to design the product of social desires and needs (Rosenbloom, 1998). Similarly, class or gender can be reproduced through timetables, dress codes or buildings (Miller, 1998). Through space analysis we can notice how relations of power exist and who use specific spatial solutions. We have to include the artistic vision of the architect, the climate or the budget. According to Löw, the currency of social inequality is money, diploma, range or affiliation (Löw, 2016). This distinction corresponds with the capitals distinguished by Bourdieu: economic, cultural and social (Bourdieu, 1986). It has to be emphasized that there are privileged groups that have better access to space than others. In the university’s case, we can talk mainly about access depending on the position in the university hierarchy (for example, we can distinguish between different positions: student, PhD candidate, professor). They can dispose of certain goods thanks to their position in the hierarchy, which can influence exclusions (Löw, 2016, p. 209). That is why chances of shaping, changing or accessing space are not the same for everyone but depend on capital and hierarchy (Löw, 2016). The same availability of space has a few dimensions. Polish sociologist of space Małgorzata Dymnicka distinguishes physical access to space, access to information and access to the resources. Observation of how particular space is managed allows one to notice access to space: if this access is guaranteed legally and factually and if in the public or private interest (Dymnicka, 2013, p. 58.) In turn, accessibility rules will depend on cultural, social and political factors (Dymnicka, 2013). It is worth adding that the democratic façade does not have to overlap with factual usage of space. Access to space can depend not only on economic capital but, as Bourdieu mentioned, on social and cultural capital (Bourdieu, 1986). Although some places are named ‘public’, entry rules are not the same for everyone.
      In the case of interactions in spaces, it is necessary to observe or ask about behaviours that take place in a specific space (Löw, 2016). Polish-Australian architect Amos Rapoport notes that the same space can be used differently and can communicate different meanings at different times. That is why, in research, we have to look at settings (Rapoport, 1990). For example, law faculty halls can be both a place for law students to spend their time between classes and a place for a conference break. However, only observation of the first situation permits us to answer the question, what do everyday interactions in the space of legal education look like? According to Rapoport, the meaning shaped by space affects communication and interaction. This confirms the thesis that interactions are ordered using space. Furthermore, Polish sociologist of law Mateusz Stępień, after having analysed the courtrooms, claims that the meaning and signals communicated by the environment are crucial for the stability of power relations. Meanings can contribute to people’s categorization. According to him, material objects are used to organize social relations through non-verbal communication: objects that relate to situations, rules, and behaviours in an arranged place (Stępień, 2018).
      The factor that permits us to reconstruct the prevailing relationships is the mobility of elements of space. This demonstrates the power entrusted to users of space, comprising the possibility of rearranging space. Rapoport’s distinct elements include fixed-feature elements, semi-fixed-feature elements and informal elements (Rapoport, 1990, p. 87). Depending on many specific elements, we can notice how much space can be rearranged or changed. A significant number of fixed-feature elements create better conditions for influencing by space. What characterizes fixed-feature elements is the fact that they are impossible or hard to change. Such elements include the walls of the building, place of the building and construction of the theatre in the lecture hall. Semi-fixed features are more mobile – they can be changed with more or less effort – and they include furniture, tables, chairs, paintings or plant arrangement. Providing mobility connects with the possibility of space domestication –fitting it to the needs in a precise moment – for example, to the informal elements. The last category (informal elements) includes body language, eye contact, proxemics and communication (Rapoport, 1990, p. 87.) The possibility of rearrangement of space shows that not all the elements depend on the architect. In the design and the first phase, its vision can be realized the most fully. However, many elements can be easily changed. In the case of legal education, it is worth looking at the degree of freedom provided to the space users depending on their hierarchy in the university structure: how they can use them, what is the number of mobile elements in this space, what are possibilities of arrangements for individual participants in space: who factually has power on space. The first has the authority to decide on this. We can say that widely understood public authorities decide on the availability of space and on the terms and conditions under which it can be used. Through the organization of space, they also decide on the hierarchy of space users, which may be noticeable not only by distribution but, above all, by the degree of access to space. That is, users may perceive the same space differently because of the availability of different options for action. Students in the interviews underlined that most of the space elements are not moveable. They mentioned desks bolted to the floor and bolted chairs in some rooms. This means that students do not have any freedom in fitting the space but also that they are disciplined by the space: they could not even move freely during classes. The same situation was observable in the halls, where all the elements were bolted and unmovable. Students also observed that there were no elements that were very accessible to them. They argued that they observed the lack of tables in the halls. It shows that the faculty does not give any power on space to the students. They can do only those activities that are allowed and very limited by space. For example, students said that a lack of tables makes it impossible to fulfil documents or do homework. Bolted elements do not permit them to work in groups during classes or discuss with classmates who sit in another part of the room.
      Not being able to change elements leads to a situation in which individuals and their relations are adapted to space. While there is no possibility of space domestication – adaptation to the needs and interactions – it is hard to neglect the fact that space influences relations, but it is worth considering whether it can symbolize something. With regard to legal education, students mentioned a spatial distinction of the speaker’s rostrum, which leaves no doubt about hierarchy. Space has the power to create hierarchical relations. They are very visible in the answers of students, mainly when they talked about access to space. From the answers it is clear that students’ access to space is limited to the seats in the classes and those in the halls. They complained about a lack of spaces where they could discuss with each other, where they could do group tasks, where they could make their tea. Students compared the space in the Faculty of Law with the spaces in other faculties, noticing that students there do not have problems with space for spending free time, as there are organized ‘students’ areas’, where they can rest and spend time with friends. Yet, on the other hand, they see that university workers, not only the teachers, have access to this kind of space. The signal being sent to them by space is clear: they are just a guest there. Students cannot react much to their limited access. They spend as little time as possible there and more of their time in nearby cafeterias, bars or restaurants, where they even study together because faculty does not provide them with rooms to study (as the library is a silence zone).
      Another feature of space that influences interactions is the comfort of space and its arrangement. During interviews, we can get to know how students perceive space, what difficulties they found, how they communicate in the concrete type of space, where they can conduct the dialogue and where not. We can notice how space influences interactions not only between them, but also between them and teachers or the administration. In their conversations we can notice what the standard system of values is. We can discover students’ values, how they perceive the role that they play in the law faculty and their place in the hierarchy.
      All the students admit that the space is not comfortable, despite different levels for everybody. Furthermore, the perception of buildings is cold and raw; although the main building is modern, it is impersonal and lacks a soul. Students recognized that chairs and tables are very rigid and that the only way to improve comfort is by sitting on the jackets to avoid having a sore body at the end of the day. There is no way to domesticate space individually, and the inability to arrange space causes them to surrender.
      No doubt, the lecturer (professor) is always visible from every part of the room, as students observed. Moreover, the professor’s position is highlighted by the elevated or lowered lectern, other types of chairs and the possibility to see all the faces. Contact with the lecturer is tough because of the arrangement and size of the space. Students felt they were forced to listen, but that there was no chance for expression. As noticed, there is no possibility of communication between students, because their faces are not visible to each other. Students can only see the backs of their colleagues but cannot hear people from another corner, resulting in a lack of discussion in classes and limited possibility to ask questions. In some rooms, spaces are divided into two parts, facilitating group work and improved visibility. All the students expressed the desire to discuss during classes and exchange views with their colleagues. They suggested that the best arrangement of space is a round or U-shaped table, which creates space for dialogue and could increase equality among them. They had already noticed that kind of arrangement in life’s situations or conferences. As a result, students were convinced that they had to take a specific place in the hierarchy if they wanted to feel at ease. For example, if they wanted to drink a leisurely cup of coffee or use the kettle, they needed access to private rooms, which are available only to teaching staff. These basic needs were being realized by university staff in quasi-private space inaccessible to students. In turn, the teaching staff dreamt of a room with access to sanitary services. The ‘social rooms’ are available only to the dean’s administration. This is the hierarchization of access and consolidation of the hierarchy. In fact, students perceive university space not as a place for intellectual development, but as a workplace where they have to endure and wait.

    • 6. Conclusion

      The analysis of the interviews allows us to acknowledge that space influences students. We already have some outline of socialization through space. We can therefore suppose that a larger study of socialization in spaces of legal education, involving participant observation and interviews while maintaining an interactionist perspective, would allow us to answer the following questions: what kind of lawyer is promoted by interactions in spaces of legal education? And what is the effect for the public space and sphere? It must be emphasized that it is hard or impossible to learn attitudes merely by talking about them. For example, if law faculties want to have democratic lawyers, it is not enough to talk about how essential democracy is. Students can learn democracy and equal relations in interactions, without vast domination of the ex cathedra method, with the space arrangement, where the dialogue is possible, where students are treated as full-fledged university participants. Attitudes are formed in these interactions. However, spaces can favour them; they can support them; they can facilitate them. Through the analysis of these interactions, we can say what relations are possible and welcome because spaces create the environment for the interactions.
      Preliminary research results show that while the official faculty façade (for example, recruitment materials or website) creates an impression of openness and equality, what students experience is totally different. We can see that students are disciplined, they must submit to authority, space does not support their independence. We can deduce that students are to treat the faculty building as a place where they are to come to classes rather than integrate or work (create a kind of community). There is very little freedom. Students cannot adapt anything to each other and are treated as strangers. This form of socialization is very bureaucratic: rigid rules and regulations of behaviours in space create bureaucrats rather than critically thinking lawyers. Lawyers are prepared to serve authority rather than civil society.
      Socialization during law studies itself influences the kind of lawyers law students will be in the future and what their role would be. This is because the individual also gains knowledge related to roles that can derive from the division of labour. He or she also masters the vocabulary related to roles, habits, interpretations, behaviours, hidden meanings and assessments (Berger & Luckmann, 1966). First, the individual has to go through socialization, that is, undertake the entire network of activities assigned to the role (Berger & Luckmann, 1966) and then act in a learned role. Thus, educational institutions have to not only educate but also socialize. The reproduction of roles connects with a reproduction of interactions and later relations, which can later be transferred to courts and places where the law is applied. That is why it is worth emphasizing that because of socialization, the space of law faculties projects into the spaces of courtrooms or chambers, which in turn are essential in determining the effect on the public sphere and the fate of individuals.

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