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285.31 sec. 1 - Groups, Diversity, and Law (Spring 2014)

Instructor: Peter Schuck  (view instructor's profile)
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Units: 2
Meeting Time: Tu 3:35-5:30
Meeting Location: 136

Course Start: January 07, 2014
Class Number (formerly Course Control Number) (Non-1Ls): 49910

Immigration, intra-group and inter-group differentiation, and competing values of equality, diversity, and individualism are producing deep tensions and conflicts within and among individuals and groups in the United States, a traditionally individualistic society. In complex ways, law influences how individuals assume group identities, how groups form, evolve, fragment, and compete with one another for social goods, and how law and society define and pursue diversity as a goal and constraint.

In this course, we shall use legal and social science materials to explore the history, context, and meanings of diversity; the emerging notion of diversity-as-ideal, and the law’s efforts to implement the diversity ideal --sometimes as a remedy for past discrimination, sometimes as a by-product of other values such as religious freedom, and sometimes for its own sake. We shall focus on an ensemble of techniques by which law attempts to manage diversity in the following areas: immigration, affirmative action, voting rights, language rights, residential integration, religion, the rights of private expressive associations, and social mobility. The emphasis and readings will be on ethnic, racial, and religious groups, not on gender, disability, or sexual preference which are covered by other courses “ although many of the relevant concepts apply to these groups as well. One week will focus on blacks as a group, another week on Mexican-origin residents.

Each student must write a research paper on a topic to be agreed upon with the instructor.

Visiting professor Peter H. Schuck is the Simeon E. Baldwin Professor Emeritus of Law at Yale Law School. He has taught there for almost 35 years, offering courses in the areas of torts; immigration/citizenship/refugee law; administrative law; and public policy analysis. During the spring 2014 semester, he will also be teaching a course at the Goldman School of Public Policy. He is the author of hundreds of scholarly articles and opinion pieces about many areas of law and policy, and has published many books, including Diversity in America: Keeping Government at a Safe Distance (2003), Targeting in Social Programs: Avoiding Bad Bets, Removing Bad Apples (2006); Understanding America: The Anatomy of an Exceptional Nation (2008, co-editor), and Why Government Fails So Often, and How It Might Do Better (forthcoming 2014). He lives in New York City.

Exam Notes: P
Course Category: Public Law and Policy
This course is cross-listed in the following categories:
Law and Society

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First Assignment

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Required Books are in blue

  • Diversity in America
    Peter H. Schuck
    Edition: 2003
    Publisher: Cambridge, Mass. : Belknap Press of Harvard University Press
    ISBN: 9780674018549
    Copyright Date: To Be Determined
    Price: $27.50
    Price Source: user provided

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