Saturday, September 30, 2006

The legal profession ... and one of its oppressed corners

S. Alan Childress, Michael S. Frisch, and Jeffery M. Lipshaw have begun blogging on the legal profession. One of their first posts revisits an oldie-but-goodie, Nancy Levit, Keeping Feminism in its Place: Sex Segregation and the Domestication of Female Academics, 49 Kan. L. Rev. 775 (2001):
Young housewife
Alexey Tyranov, Young Housewife (ca. 1840)
[W]omen are being “domesticated” in the legal academy. * * * [This] article examines occupational sex segregation and role differentiation between male and female law professors, demonstrating statistically that in legal academia, women are congregated in lower-ranking, lower-paying, lower-prestige positions. It also traces how segregation by sex persists in substantive course teaching assignments. Female law professors are much more likely than male law professors to teach substantive courses addressing familial issues, as well as skills courses that demand intensive labor and student nurturing. In addition, female law professors are performing a disproportionate share of domestic chores within the law school relative to their numbers on faculties - they are doing more of the occupational equivalent of the “housework” and the “childcare” than their male counterparts. The article looks at the ways both women and men are disadvantaged by importing traditional domestic behaviors into the workplace.
Professor Levit's article now finds new life through SSRN. For their part, Messrs. Childress, Frisch, and Lipshaw promise interesting insights on the legal profession, which after all includes the legal academy.


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