This seminar will examine the practice described alternatively as affirmative action, nondiscrimination, reverse discrimination or positive discrimination, or in Western Europe as Parite, in the areas of race, gender and sexual orientation.
It has been asserted that the United States is characterized by the interaction of three essential characteristics: the passion for equality, the prominence of racial and gender divisions and the central role of law in the settling of conflicts. Looking at that interaction necessarily involves looking at how the law defines equality; what it requires the society to provide to its members and how the law has attempted to "remedy" inequalities in some of these contexts. We will consider these questions in the jurisprudence and scholarly writing in the areas of education, employment, sexual conduct including the right to marry and access to political power.
This is a writing seminar. You will be expected to submit a final draft of a paper on the last day of exams. The paper must be approximately 30 pages, excluding footnotes, on a topic previously approved by the instructor. No extensions will be granted. You will also be expected to present a summary of your paper to the class in one of the last classes. Your grade will be based on your class participation (25%), the first draft of your paper (25%,) your class presentation (15%) and final draft of your paper (35%).
YOU MUST ATTEND THE FIRST SEMINAR MEETING OR YOUR PLACE WILL BE GIVEN TO A STUDENT ON THE WAITING LIST.If you are on the waiting list and wish to be considered you should also attend the first meeting.