Reading between the Lines: Analyzing the Supreme Court's Views on Gender Discrimination in Employment, 1971-1982

Lens, Vicki A.

Supreme Court decisions can be read on two levels: as prescriptive statements of what legally can or cannot be done and as discourses that define the Court's view of social problems. This article explores this latter role through a content analysis of Court decisions that directly address the struggle for women's equality in the workplace during the 1970s. As it formulated the legal rules applicable to gender discrimination, the Court also gave social and political meaning to the concept of equality. Examining this process of problem definition in the judicial arena provides a different perspective for viewing Supreme Court decisions.


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October 16, 2012