Two Sides of a Coin: Safe Space and Segregation in Race/Ethnic-Specific Law Student Organizations

48 Pages Posted: 14 Jul 2012 Last revised: 20 Nov 2013

Meera E. Deo

Thomas Jefferson School of Law

Date Written: July 14, 2012

Abstract

American racism and discrimination continue to plague our institutions of higher education. Predominantly white law school environments are especially notable for being inhospitable and unfriendly. Many law students of color create and join race/ethnic-specific organizations in order to receive support on otherwise unwelcoming campuses. While many students view these groups as a safe space that provides a buffer from the rest of law school life, others worry that these organizations may increase segregation. When considered through a lens of structural inequality and privilege, we see that “exclusion” may have different meanings and outcomes based on the relative racial hierarchy of the groups involved. My research uses both quantitative and qualitative data to better understand how what some consider “self-segregation” may be necessary for creating safe space.

Keywords: higher education, sociology of education, diversity, student support, segregation

JEL Classification: K19, K39

Suggested Citation

Deo, Meera E., Two Sides of a Coin: Safe Space and Segregation in Race/Ethnic-Specific Law Student Organizations (July 14, 2012). Washington University Journal of Law and Policy, Vol. 42, p. 83, 2013; Thomas Jefferson School of Law Research Paper No. 2097926. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2097926 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2097926

Meera E. Deo (Contact Author)

Thomas Jefferson School of Law ( email )

1155 Island Ave
San Diego, CA 92101
United States
619-961-4227 (Phone)

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