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88 Calif. L. Rev. 77 (2000)
Discrimination in the Eyes of the Law: How Color Blindness Discourse Disrupts and Rationalizes Social Stratification

handle is hein.journals/calr88 and id is 91 raw text is: Discrimination in the Eyes of the
Law: How Color Blindness
Discourse Disrupts and Rationalizes
Social Stratification
Reva B. Siegelt
I am quite pleased to have this opportunity to comment on Robert
Post's provocative Lecture, Prejudicial Appearances.' Post's effort to dis-
tinguish the dominant conception of antidiscrimination law from what he
presents as a sociological account of the field intersects in striking ways
with my own efforts to analyze status relations and their disestablishment
from a sociohistorical vantage point. In this Response, I would like to
identify some key points of similarity and difference in our accounts, with
a view to furthering consideration of what we might learn from a socio-
logical approach to the field.
I have learned more than I can express from working with Robert Post
over the years, yet I still find myself startled-sometimes with exaspera-
tion, most often with delight-at the ways our intuitions about things of
this world diverge and converge. In the long tradition of our long argu-
ments, this Response begins by emphasizing an important difference in our
approaches to the question explored in his Lecture, and winds up identify-
ing a deep ground of methodological agreement between us.
As I explore in the first Part of this Response, my own efforts to
model antidiscrimination law from a dynamic, or sociohistorical, vantage
point take as central to the field the problem of social stratification, a con-
cept missing from Post's sociological account. In the remainder of this
Response, I argue that one needs a concept of social stratification-of
status inequality among groups arising out of the interaction of social
Copyright 02000 California Law Review, Inc.
Nicholas deB. Katzenbach Professor of Law, Yale Law School. This essay is written in
loving memory of my father. I would especially like to thank Jack Balkin and Robert Post and the
precious circle of friends who were generous enough to engage me this year about the questions that
haunted the writing of this essay, and much more: Bruce Ackerman, Lisa Cardyn, Ariela Dubler,
Owen Fiss, Bob Gordon, Ian Haney Lopez, Angela Harris, Dan Kahan, Lisa Orsaba, Carol Rose,
Marge Shultz, and Kenji Yoshino.
1. Robert Post, Prejudicial Appearances: The Logic of American Antidiscrimination Law, 88
CALIF. L. REV. I (2000).


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