Working Law: Courts, Corporations, And Symbolic Civil Rights by Lauren B. EdelmanWorking Law: Courts, Corporations, And Symbolic Civil Rights by Lauren B. Edelman

Working Law: Courts, Corporations, And Symbolic Civil Rights

byLauren B. Edelman

Paperback | November 28, 2016

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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.
 
Lauren B. Edelman is the Agnes Roddy Robb Professor of Law and professor of sociology at the University of California, Berkeley. A past president of the Law and Society Association, she is coeditor of two books, most recently The Legal Lives of Private Organizations.  
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Title:Working Law: Courts, Corporations, And Symbolic Civil RightsFormat:PaperbackDimensions:312 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.1 inPublished:November 28, 2016Publisher:University of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022640076X

ISBN - 13:9780226400761

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Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments

PART I. The Interplay of Law and Organizations

CHAPTER 1. Introduction
CHAPTER 2. The Endogeneity of Law
CHAPTER 3. Ambiguous Law and the Erosion of the Progressive Vision in the Courts

PART II. Law in the Workplace

CHAPTER 4. Professional Framing of the Legal Environment
CHAPTER 5. The Diffusion of Symbolic Structures
CHAPTER 6. The Managerialization of Law

PART III. The Workplace in Law

CHAPTER 7. The Mobilization of Symbolic Structures
CHAPTER 8. Legal Deference to Symbolic Compliance
CHAPTER 9. Symbolic Civil Rights and the Endogeneity of Law

Notes
Bibliography
Index

Editorial Reviews

“Edelman’s Working Law is simply superb. It breaks through the barriers that too often separate the work of the academy from the lived experience of lawyers and judges. On a personal note, it provides a thoughtful answer to the phenomenon I observed when I was on the bench—why employment law was singularly ineffective in addressing modern discrimination, why courts were satisfied with token compliance with organizational antidiscrimination programs and policies, ignoring the real face of discrimination. It is not often that a scholarly book creates an ‘aha’ moment for a legal practitioner, especially a former judge. This is surely one of them. It should be part of every judge’s training, and on every employment law professor’s reading list.”