Taxonomies of Inequality: Lawyers, Maps and the Challenge of Hybridity

Grabham, Emily (2006) Taxonomies of Inequality: Lawyers, Maps and the Challenge of Hybridity. Social and Legal Studies, 15 (1). pp. 5-23. ISSN 0964-6639. (doi: (Full text available)

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Intersectional discrimination challenges not only the structure of equality law, but also the techniques that lawyers employ in assessing and arguing discrimination cases. Client forms, akin to questionnaires, assist lawyers in obtaining a full picture of the client's circumstances and in avoiding the omission of any potential legal remedies. Chronologies of events assist lawyers in mapping discriminatory events and establishing that the client is within the time limit for submitting a claim to the Employment Tribunal. These techniques reflect discrimination law's defensiveness against lived complexities, which in itself restricts possible intersectional analyses. For example, through chronologies, each discriminatory event is defined by reference to only one ‘ground’. Discrimination law therefore links the passing of time itself to the categories it has produced. In this context, Homi Bhabha's concept of hybridity provides a useful way of describing how intersectional subjects relate to their categorization through law. It shows how legal subjects simultaneously adopt and resist the grounds that lawyers use to describe their experiences. If discrimination law is based on enabling legal subjects to speak for themselves, then we should investigate these possibilities for resistance.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: categories, discrimination, grounds, hybridity, intersectionality, lawyers, mapping
Subjects: K Law
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > Kent Law School
Depositing User: Katrin Steinack
Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2007 18:17 UTC
Last Modified: 05 Sep 2011 23:20 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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