The more things change, the more they stay the same: Explaining stratification within the Faculty of Advocates, Scotland

Angela Melville, Frank Stephen

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    4 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Since the 1970s the legal profession has become increasingly diversified. However, the inclusion of traditionally excluded social groups has not eradicated inequalities. This paper attempts to explain the contradiction between increasing diversification and persistence of inequalities by examining changes in the structure of the Faculty of Advocates in Scotland. We observe significant changes over the last 40 years, especially the increasing numbers of women entering the Faculty. Yet, women still face discrimination, and their success has largely been at the expense of working-class aspirants. We argue that existing theoretical perspectives, namely feminism and the perspectives of Bourdieu, as well as new insights offered by Beck, are insufficient to account for stratification within the legal profession. We call for a new theoretical perspective which accounts for both social change and persistence of inequalities, and suggest that such an approach is best offered by a feminist reworking of Bourdieu.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)211-235
    Number of pages25
    JournalInternational Journal of The Legal Profession
    Volume18
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2011

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