Can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em: Gendered segmentation in the legal profession

S.C. Bolton, D. Muzio

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    87 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Successful professions have historically relied on the establishment of effective closure regimes. The last 30 years or so have witnessed a gradual erosion of the legal profession's external closure regime, which seems to be associated with the gradual feminization of the legal profession. Women now represent the majority of salaried solicitors; yet, despite some recent progress,they still represent a mere quarter of partners. In reference to these developments this article seeks to cultivate a typology of patterns of gendered segmentation in the legal profession. We argue that gendered segmentation, which thrives on the ideology of women's difference, has become a defence mechanism of an embattled profession, ensuring that the elite segments hold onto their status and associated rewards while the feminized segments increase leverage without rocking the partnership system, effectively forming a reserve army of legal labour with lesser terms and conditions.
    LanguageEnglish
    Pages47-64
    Number of pages17
    JournalSociology
    Volume41
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2007

    Fingerprint

    legal profession
    profession
    regime
    defense mechanism
    reward
    military
    erosion
    typology
    elite
    ideology
    labor
    segmentation

    Keywords

    • gender
    • legal profession
    • sedimentation
    • segmentation
    • stratification

    Cite this

    Bolton, S.C. ; Muzio, D. / Can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em: Gendered segmentation in the legal profession. In: Sociology. 2007 ; Vol. 41, No. 2. pp. 47-64.
    @article{305576f1938e48bf90dddedfc7de5499,
    title = "Can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em: Gendered segmentation in the legal profession",
    abstract = "Successful professions have historically relied on the establishment of effective closure regimes. The last 30 years or so have witnessed a gradual erosion of the legal profession's external closure regime, which seems to be associated with the gradual feminization of the legal profession. Women now represent the majority of salaried solicitors; yet, despite some recent progress,they still represent a mere quarter of partners. In reference to these developments this article seeks to cultivate a typology of patterns of gendered segmentation in the legal profession. We argue that gendered segmentation, which thrives on the ideology of women's difference, has become a defence mechanism of an embattled profession, ensuring that the elite segments hold onto their status and associated rewards while the feminized segments increase leverage without rocking the partnership system, effectively forming a reserve army of legal labour with lesser terms and conditions.",
    keywords = "gender, legal profession, sedimentation, segmentation, stratification",
    author = "S.C. Bolton and D. Muzio",
    year = "2007",
    doi = "10.1177/0038038507072283",
    language = "English",
    volume = "41",
    pages = "47--64",
    journal = "Sociology",
    issn = "0038-0385",
    number = "2",

    }

    Can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em: Gendered segmentation in the legal profession. / Bolton, S.C.; Muzio, D.

    In: Sociology, Vol. 41, No. 2, 2007, p. 47-64.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em: Gendered segmentation in the legal profession

    AU - Bolton, S.C.

    AU - Muzio, D.

    PY - 2007

    Y1 - 2007

    N2 - Successful professions have historically relied on the establishment of effective closure regimes. The last 30 years or so have witnessed a gradual erosion of the legal profession's external closure regime, which seems to be associated with the gradual feminization of the legal profession. Women now represent the majority of salaried solicitors; yet, despite some recent progress,they still represent a mere quarter of partners. In reference to these developments this article seeks to cultivate a typology of patterns of gendered segmentation in the legal profession. We argue that gendered segmentation, which thrives on the ideology of women's difference, has become a defence mechanism of an embattled profession, ensuring that the elite segments hold onto their status and associated rewards while the feminized segments increase leverage without rocking the partnership system, effectively forming a reserve army of legal labour with lesser terms and conditions.

    AB - Successful professions have historically relied on the establishment of effective closure regimes. The last 30 years or so have witnessed a gradual erosion of the legal profession's external closure regime, which seems to be associated with the gradual feminization of the legal profession. Women now represent the majority of salaried solicitors; yet, despite some recent progress,they still represent a mere quarter of partners. In reference to these developments this article seeks to cultivate a typology of patterns of gendered segmentation in the legal profession. We argue that gendered segmentation, which thrives on the ideology of women's difference, has become a defence mechanism of an embattled profession, ensuring that the elite segments hold onto their status and associated rewards while the feminized segments increase leverage without rocking the partnership system, effectively forming a reserve army of legal labour with lesser terms and conditions.

    KW - gender

    KW - legal profession

    KW - sedimentation

    KW - segmentation

    KW - stratification

    UR - http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0038038507072283

    U2 - 10.1177/0038038507072283

    DO - 10.1177/0038038507072283

    M3 - Article

    VL - 41

    SP - 47

    EP - 64

    JO - Sociology

    T2 - Sociology

    JF - Sociology

    SN - 0038-0385

    IS - 2

    ER -