ERIC Number: EJ873386
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Reference Count: N/A
Why Incorporate Disability Studies into Teaching Discrimination Law?
Paetzold, Ramona L.
Journal of Legal Studies Education, v27 n1 p61-80 Win-Spr 2010
Those who teach employment discrimination law, particularly as a separate course or part of a course on employment law, are used to covering a broad range of legal models and issues pertaining to the protected classes under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. The disparate treatment, disparate impact, and hostile environment models of discrimination apply broadly and are often discussed within a framework of feminist, critical race, or other perspectives. The author stresses that it is important to view American discrimination law through a lens of critical race and feminist theory. However, the importance of race, ethnic, and gender studies as multidisciplinary enterprises that have influenced law cannot be overemphasized. In this article the author attempts to make a strong case that another theoretical perspective be brought into one's discourse of employment discrimination law--that of disability studies. Disability studies is a relatively new field that seeks to examine the multiplicity of ways that people assign meaning to "normal" and "abnormal" lived mind/body experiences, to shed light on how people attempt to eliminate or control that which is considered undesirable regarding human life and at the same time determine through cultural and contextual practices who is entitled to power, wealth, and status and to explicate how humans create, modify, and manage their identities. In particular, it helps educators to understand both the evolution of and the limitations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) (even as amended), informing them as to why the ADA cannot fully assist the millions of Americans who would like to obtain and maintain meaningful employment. It also reveals a broad framework for thinking about discrimination law more generally. (Contains 52 footnotes.)
Descriptors: Civil Rights Legislation, Disabilities, Disability Discrimination, Employment Problems, Employment Practices, Legal Education (Professions), Attitudes toward Disabilities, Instructional Design, Federal Regulation
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Americans with Disabilities Act 1990