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Gender Trials: Emotional Lives in Contemporary Law Firms

Gender Trials: Emotional Lives in Contemporary Law Firms
Author: Jennifer L. Pierce
ISBN 13: 9780520201088
ISBN 10: 520201086
Edition: Second Printing
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication Date: 1996-02-15
Format: Paperback
Pages: 276
List Price: $31.95

"This is an exciting contribution to our understanding of gender and emotion in workplaces everywhere."—Arlie Hochschild, author of The Second Shift and The Managed Heart

"As a participant observer and insightful critic of lawyers' workplaces, Jennifer Pierce gives us a richly detailed picture of sex-based inequality and the strategies necessary to address it."—Deborah L. Rhode, Director, Keck Center on Legal Ethics and the Legal Profession, Stanford University

"Gender Trials is an important addition to the literature on gender and work.
In studying each gender within different jobs (litigator, paralegal) and different jobs within each gender, Pierce uncovers the complexities and contradictions of 'doing gender' in contemporary law firms. The phrases 'Rambo litigator' and 'mothering paralegal' capture the normative and behavioral convergences of job and gender in these firms.
In analysing resistance as well as compliance, and the emotional and identity costs associated with both dynamics, Pierce produces an insightful, and disturbing, picture of legal practice in our time."—Patricia Yancey Martin, Florida State University

"Pierce's lively first-hand account of women and men at work in several law firms greatly expands our empirical and theoretical understanding of what it means to say that occupations and work organizations are 'gendered.'"—Miriam Johnson, University of Oregon


Pierce (sociology, U. of Minnesota) provides an intriguing ethnographic study of sex segregation and gendered roles in the modern legal profession, focusing particularly on the unacknowledged "emotional labor" of "Rambo litigators" in a male-dominated job and "mothering paralegals" in a feminized occupation. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)