LAW 5844: Overcoming Subtle Sexism/Subtle Racism in the Workplace Seminar
U.S. laws prohibit sex and race discrimination in the workplace, but American society and the legal system are still working out exactly what that means. While people generally agree that conscious and blatant sexism and racism in employment decisions are unacceptable, many employment situations exist where less blatant distinctions are made between men and women, as well as between races and ethnic groups. These more subtle, often unconscious, discriminations occur for a variety of reasons, such as social expectations, stereotypes, habits, and traditions. This interdisciplinary course explores what you can do to overcome subtle sexism and subtle racism in the workplace, including in the legal profession. Rather than focusing on the problems of bias, this course emphasizes solutions. Rather than feeling like there is very little you can do to alter the situation, this course will discuss work strategies, attitudes, and other personal traits that can help individual employees, particularly women and minorities, to maximize their probability for job success and productivity. The course provides an opportunity for students to consider their own future worklives, how subtle sexism/subtle racism may affect them, and some ways they can constructively anticipate those challenges. This seminar includes a series of assignments throughout the course and a final paper. Readings on the law, the legal profession, and social science research are included in the course. This course satisfies the legal writing requirement. Attendance at the first class is important, so if you cannot attend the first class, you need to let Professor Chew know in advance. Course enrollment is limited to 11 law students and 3 non-law school students.