Race, Law & Inequality, Fifty Years after the Civil Rights Era

29 Pages Posted: 1 Jun 2017

See all articles by Frank Munger

Frank Munger

New York Law School

Carroll Seron

University of California, Irvine School of Law; Department of Criminology, Law & Society

Date Written: May 30, 2017

Abstract

Over the last several decades, law and social science scholars have documented persistent racial inequality in the United States. This review focuses on mechanisms to explain this persistent pattern. We begin with policy making, a mechanism fundamental to all the others. We then examine one particularly important policy, the carceral state, which can be described as the most important policy response to the Civil Rights Era. A significant body of scholarship on employment discrimination presents a site for explaining the transformation of law on the books into the law in action. Finally, we review scholarship on the persistence of segregation, concentrated neighborhood disadvantage and its attendant impact on racial inequality. We conclude with two themes that deserve special emphasis, the need for theory drawing these fields together, and our need, above all at this moment in our history, for public scholarship changing the discourse, politics, and law perpetuating racial inequality.

Keywords: race and racism, structural and persistent inequality, law and policy, discrimination, mass incarceration

Suggested Citation

Munger, Frank and Seron, Carroll, Race, Law & Inequality, Fifty Years after the Civil Rights Era (May 30, 2017). Annual Review of Law & Social Science, 2017, Forthcoming; NYLS Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2977457; UC Irvine School of Law Research Paper No. 2017-24. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2977457

Frank Munger

New York Law School ( email )

185 West Broadway
New York, NY 10013
United States

Carroll Seron (Contact Author)

University of California, Irvine School of Law; Department of Criminology, Law & Society ( email )

401 E. Peltason Dr.
Ste. 1000
Irvine, CA 92697-1000
United States

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