Wednesday, September 05, 2007

People's History

Jim Chen's post on MoneyLaw about the language as an identifiers, a New Yorker article on micro burst expressions several years ago, Wolf's, Radical Chic, Zinn's History, and my own posts some time ago on 1) signaling and 2) that I am not convinced that Law Schools are really interesting having faculty who are both African American and diverse all seem to come together.

Can I tie altogether in a blog length post. Not a chance, but here is where it ends up. As a totally amateur sociologist I sense that elitist dominated hiring committees feel comfortable with candidates in the following order:

1. White elitist educated male
2. White elitist educated female
3. African American elitist educated male
4. African American elitist educated female
5. White non elite female.
6. White non elite female.
7. Non elite African American female
8. Non elite African American male.

First note that elite always trumps non elite. Second, Committees like 1s and 2s because they have more in common with those folks and they will find room for 1s and 2s.

They will also, in the quest for non diverse diversity, search high and low for 3 and 4. I am not saying 3 and 4 are always not diverse. Maybe they are faking for sake of the interview but my sense is that, the less diverse they seem, the higher their ranking and some do not seem to have to try very hard to seem not diverse. I actually feel for these candidates. Many have the street creds of Mr. Rogers but they have to please everyone. A smattering of people on a faculty looking for "deep" diversity may be put off by too much cozying up to the 1s and 2s by the 3s and 4s. On the other hand, it is important to please the 1s and 2s.

Now we get down to 5-8 and Howard Zinn. You know the story -- whether the American Revolution, the Civil War or Viet Nam-- the elites take care of their own and they use the non elites to get there whether it means using them to fight their battles or pitting them against each other.

Is law school hiring Zinn's version of history playing out in a different context. Why wouldn't it be?

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