working law courts corporations and symbolic civil rights chicago series in law and society

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Working Law

Author : Lauren B. Edelman
ISBN : 9780226400938
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 63. 30 MB
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Since the passage of the Civil Rights Act, virtually all companies have antidiscrimination policies in place. Although these policies represent some progress, women and minorities remain underrepresented within the workplace as a whole and even more so when you look at high-level positions. They also tend to be less well paid. How is it that discrimination remains so prevalent in the American workplace despite the widespread adoption of policies designed to prevent it? One reason for the limited success of antidiscrimination policies, argues Lauren B. Edelman, is that the law regulating companies is broad and ambiguous, and managers therefore play a critical role in shaping what it means in daily practice. Often, what results are policies and procedures that are largely symbolic and fail to dispel long-standing patterns of discrimination. Even more troubling, these meanings of the law that evolve within companies tend to eventually make their way back into the legal domain, inconspicuously influencing lawyers for both plaintiffs and defendants and even judges. When courts look to the presence of antidiscrimination policies and personnel manuals to infer fair practices and to the presence of diversity training programs without examining whether these policies are effective in combating discrimination and achieving racial and gender diversity, they wind up condoning practices that deviate considerably from the legal ideals.

Inventing Equal Opportunity

Author : Frank Dobbin
ISBN : 1400830893
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 32. 8 MB
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Equal opportunity in the workplace is thought to be the direct legacy of the civil rights and feminist movements and the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964. Yet, as Frank Dobbin demonstrates, corporate personnel experts--not Congress or the courts--were the ones who determined what equal opportunity meant in practice, designing changes in how employers hire, promote, and fire workers, and ultimately defining what discrimination is, and is not, in the American imagination. Dobbin shows how Congress and the courts merely endorsed programs devised by corporate personnel. He traces how the first measures were adopted by military contractors worried that the Kennedy administration would cancel their contracts if they didn't take "affirmative action" to end discrimination. These measures built on existing personnel programs, many designed to prevent bias against unionists. Dobbin follows the changes in the law as personnel experts invented one wave after another of equal opportunity programs. He examines how corporate personnel formalized hiring and promotion practices in the 1970s to eradicate bias by managers; how in the 1980s they answered Ronald Reagan's threat to end affirmative action by recasting their efforts as diversity-management programs; and how the growing presence of women in the newly named human resources profession has contributed to a focus on sexual harassment and work/life issues. Inventing Equal Opportunity reveals how the personnel profession devised--and ultimately transformed--our understanding of discrimination.

Speak No Evil

Author : Jon B. Gould
ISBN : 0226305139
Genre : Law
File Size : 76. 49 MB
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Opponents of speech codes often argue that liberal academics use the codes to advance an agenda of political correctness. But Jon B. Gould's provocative book, based on an enormous amount of empirical evidence, reveals that the real reasons for their growth are to be found in the pragmatic, almost utilitarian, considerations of college administrators. Instituting hate speech policy, he shows, was often a symbolic response taken by university leaders to reassure campus constituencies of their commitment against intolerance. In an academic version of "keeping up with the Joneses," some schools created hate speech codes to remain within what they saw as the mainstream of higher education. Only a relatively small number of colleges crafted codes out of deep commitment to their merits. Although college speech codes have been overturned by the courts, Speak No Evil argues that their rise has still had a profound influence on curtailing speech in other institutions such as the media and has also shaped mass opinion and common understandings of constitutional norms. Ultimately, Gould contends, this kind of informal law can have just as much power as the Constitution.

Rights On Trial

Author : Ellen Berrey
ISBN : 9780226466859
Genre : Law
File Size : 64. 43 MB
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Gerry Handley faced years of blatant race-based harassment before he filed a complaint against his employer: racist jokes, signs reading “KKK” in his work area, and even questions from coworkers as to whether he had sex with his daughter as slaves supposedly did. He had an unusually strong case, with copious documentation and coworkers’ support, and he settled for $50,000, even winning back his job. But victory came at a high cost. Legal fees cut into Mr. Handley’s winnings, and tensions surrounding the lawsuit poisoned the workplace. A year later, he lost his job due to downsizing by his company. Mr. Handley exemplifies the burden plaintiffs bear in contemporary civil rights litigation. In the decades since the civil rights movement, we’ve made progress, but not nearly as much as it might seem. On the surface, America’s commitment to equal opportunity in the workplace has never been clearer. Virtually every company has antidiscrimination policies in place, and there are laws designed to protect these rights across a range of marginalized groups. But, as Ellen Berrey, Robert L. Nelson, and Laura Beth Nielsen compellingly show, this progressive vision of the law falls far short in practice. When aggrieved individuals turn to the law, the adversarial character of litigation imposes considerable personal and financial costs that make plaintiffs feel like they’ve lost regardless of the outcome of the case. Employer defendants also are dissatisfied with the system, often feeling “held up” by what they see as frivolous cases. And even when the case is resolved in the plaintiff’s favor, the conditions that gave rise to the lawsuit rarely change. In fact, the contemporary approach to workplace discrimination law perversely comes to reinforce the very hierarchies that antidiscrimination laws were created to redress. Based on rich interviews with plaintiffs, attorneys, and representatives of defendants and an original national dataset on case outcomes, Rights on Trial reveals the fundamental flaws of workplace discrimination law and offers practical recommendations for how we might better respond to persistent patterns of discrimination.

The Sit Ins

Author : Christopher W. Schmidt
ISBN : 9780226522586
Genre : Law
File Size : 40. 10 MB
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On February 1, 1960, four African American college students entered the Woolworth department store in Greensboro, North Carolina, and sat down at the lunch counter. This lunch counter, like most in the American South, refused to serve black customers. The four students remained in their seats until the store closed. In the following days, they returned, joined by growing numbers of fellow students. These “sit-in” demonstrations soon spread to other southern cities, drawing in thousands of students and coalescing into a protest movement that would transform the struggle for racial equality. The Sit-Ins tells the story of the student lunch counter protests and the national debate they sparked over the meaning of the constitutional right of all Americans to equal protection of the law. Christopher W. Schmidt describes how behind the now-iconic scenes of African American college students sitting in quiet defiance at “whites only” lunch counters lies a series of underappreciated legal dilemmas—about the meaning of the Constitution, the capacity of legal institutions to remedy different forms of injustice, and the relationship between legal reform and social change. The students’ actions initiated a national conversation over whether the Constitution’s equal protection clause extended to the activities of private businesses that served the general public. The courts, the traditional focal point for accounts of constitutional disputes, played an important but ultimately secondary role in this story. The great victory of the sit-in movement came not in the Supreme Court, but in Congress, with the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, landmark legislation that recognized the right African American students had claimed for themselves four years earlier. The Sit-Ins invites a broader understanding of how Americans contest and construct the meaning of their Constitution.

Regulatory Encounters

Author : Lee Axelrad
ISBN : 0520222881
Genre : Law
File Size : 46. 15 MB
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"This is a pathbreaking contribution to a much neglected area of academic study."--Bridget M. Hutter, London School of Economics "Regulatory Encounters is an extremely impressive book that contains rich, varied, and convincing case studies on an important topic, American 'adversarial legalism.'"--R. Shep Melnick, Boston College

Discrimination As Stigma

Author : Iyiola Solanke
ISBN : 9781782256380
Genre : Law
File Size : 65. 71 MB
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This monograph reconceptualises discrimination law as fundamentally concerned with stigma. Using sociological and socio-psychological theories of stigma, the author presents an 'anti-stigma principle', promoting it as a method to determine the scope of legal protection from discrimination. The anti-stigma principle recognises the role of institutional and individual action in the perpetuation of discrimination. Setting discrimination law within the field of public health, it frames positive action and intersectional discrimination as the norm in this field of law rather than the exception. In developing and applying this new theory for anti-discrimination law, the book draws upon case law from jurisdictions including the UK, Australia, New Zealand, the USA and Canada, as well as European law.

Discrimination Laundering

Author : Tristin K. Green
ISBN : 9781107142008
Genre : Law
File Size : 59. 73 MB
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This book uncovers legal shifts founded on misunderstandings about discrimination and describes how law and organizations can do better.

Navigating Conflict

Author : Calvin Morrill
ISBN : 9780226523873
Genre : Education
File Size : 31. 70 MB
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Urban schools are often associated with violence, chaos, and youth aggression. But is this reputation really the whole picture? In Navigating Conflict, Calvin Morrill and Michael Musheno challenge the violence-centered conventional wisdom of urban youth studies, revealing instead the social ingenuity with which teens informally and peacefully navigate strife-ridden peer trouble. Taking as their focus a multi-ethnic, high-poverty school in the American southwest, the authors complicate our vision of urban youth, along the way revealing the resilience of students in the face of carceral disciplinary tactics. Grounded in sixteen years of ethnographic fieldwork, Navigating Conflict draws on archival and institutional evidence to locate urban schools in more than a century of local, state, and national change. Morrill and Musheno make the case for schools that work, where negative externalities are buffered and policies are adapted to ever-evolving student populations. They argue that these kinds of schools require meaningful, inclusive student organizations for sustaining social trust and collective peer dignity alongside responsive administrative leadership. Further, students must be given the freedom to associate and move among their peers, all while in the vicinity of watchful, but not intrusive adults. Morrill and Musheno make a compelling case for these foundational conditions, arguing that only through them can schools enable a rich climate for learning, achievement, and social advancement.

The Rights Revolution Revisited

Author : Lynda G. Dodd
ISBN : 9781316732649
Genre : Law
File Size : 63. 80 MB
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The rights revolution in the United States consisted of both sweeping changes in constitutional doctrines and landmark legislative reform, followed by decades of innovative implementation in every branch of the federal government - Congress, agencies, and the courts. In recent years, a growing number of political scientists have sought to integrate studies of the rights revolution into accounts of the contemporary American state. In The Rights Revolution Revisited, a distinguished group of political scientists and legal scholars explore the institutional dynamics, scope, and durability of the rights revolution. By offering an inter-branch analysis of the development of civil rights laws and policies that features the role of private enforcement, this volume enriches our understanding of the rise of the 'civil rights state' and its fate in the current era.

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