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Neallani- women of colour....docx

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Department
Sociology
Course
SOC323H5
Professor
Nicole Myers
Semester
Fall

Description
Women of Colour in the Legal Profession: Facing the Familiar Barriers of Race and Sex Shelina Neallani Systematic Mistreatment  Systematic mistreatment of women of colour within legal profession occurs at 2 level: 1) in application of “neutral” practices that have effect on women of colour, and 2) through “internalized dominance” that is embedded to the point that whites aren’t aware of attitudes, beliefs, and feelings they have 2towards people of colour  Application of “neutral” practices that are discriminatory- LSAT, law school instruction, law school exams, recruiting/hiring for articling and advancement in law firms o LSAT excludes anyone who isn’t “test wise” or who freezes at crucial point during the test; content of LSAT also biased o Test questions prepared by members of certain class, culture, and racial groups reflects their experience of the world o LSAT said to “not be a reliable predictor of success in law school”  Women of colour marginalized once in law school o Law school instruction techniques such as “Socratic method” threatening to members of some cultures  Lack of gender neutral language and use of sexist/racist examples in class  Even when Law Society of B.C. restricted certain racial groups from practicing law in B.C., U.B.C. Law School claimed that legal education should be available to all students regardless of race/ethnic origin  Race was considered in relation to law school admissions in 1975 when Justice Development Commission Task Force on Delivery of Legal Services to Native People submitted report to UBC Faculty of Law o Report stated that there was an almost complete absence of Aboriginal people in legal profession in British Columbia o Native Law Program was initiated in 1976; aboriginal students admitted in a discretionary category and are assisted in law school by tutorial program  Comparison of proportion of people of colour to the total white population and proportion of law students of colour to all law students, indicates that people of colour are underrepresented in law school Internalized Dominance  At the root of continuation of seemingly neutral practices like LSAT, law school instruction and exams  Internalized dominance- way in which dominant members of society participate and contribute to oppression of others  Occurs as a result of messages given to dominant members about themselves and about others  Everyone learns the same messages: messages about white mainstream people and negative messages about people of colour and others who have been targeted in society because of their age, sexual orientation, physical disabilities etc.  Intersectionality- i.e. lesbian woman of colour internalizes oppression from all three sources  White mainstream people experience being includes and learn they’re “normal” o Janet Sawyer- asserts whites not aware of learning this  Example: “flesh” coloured Band-Aids- whose flesh were they referring to?  View of everyone as white unless otherwise specified (white is the norm and people of colour are outside the norm); i.e. “a black woman crossed the street” as opposed to “a woman crossed the street”  Internalized dominance gives members of dominant group the experience of powerfulness and members of oppressed group the experience of powerlessness  Stereotypes of race and sex and attitudes of dominance must be unlearned individually o Not be able to get rid of institutions of systematic discrimination because dominant group wont see the flaws with ‘myth of equality’  Legislation made to eradicate discrimination but law in books is different from law in practice Internalized Oppression and Binding Cultural Ties  Victims
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