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Summers of Our Discontent

By Phyllis Goldfarb

Abstract

This essay analyzes the transcript of Lawrence Summers\u27 remarks to the January 14 Conference on Diversifying the Science and Engineering Workforce. The purpose of a close textual analysis is to develop understanding of the firestorm unleashed by Summers\u27 remarks. Which aspects of his remarks were so incendiary and what can be learned from them? In particular, the essay explores possible sources of Summers\u27 stated hypotheses about gender differences that contribute to women\u27s underrepresentation in certain fields. It also explores the material consequences of these hypotheses in women\u27s lives to highlight the interconnection between such beliefs and discriminatory behavior. The overall goal of this analysis is to contribute to a broader and deeper understanding of the relationships between gender, culture, and work and to promote a responsible approach to both diversity discourse and diversity itself

Topics: Lawrence Summers, Harvard University, Gender Roles, Employment Discrimination, Employment Practice, Law and Society, Science and Technology, Sexuality and the Law, Women, Labor and Employment Law, Law and Gender, Law and Society, Science and Technology Law, Sexuality and the Law
Publisher: Digital Commons @ Boston College Law School
Year: 2005
OAI identifier: oai:lawdigitalcommons.bc.edu:lsfp-1046
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