Focused, comparative examination of legal institutions.
This course will explore the ways in which ambiguities in the law can exacerbate or mediate social marginalization, rendering members of groups more or less 'visible' in society. As examples, the class will focus on laws impacting the categorization and regulation of three populations: undocumented workers, transgendered people, and homeless individuals. Through these case studies, students will be asked to reflect on the role of legal ambiguity in reproducing social inequality, the ways in which legal 'gray areas' provide room for empowerment, and the broader impacts of the law in shaping identity.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
This is a seminar course: readings and class discussion/participation.
Experience reading primary research materials. Recommended class status: juniors and seniors.
Class assignments and grading