Examining racialization, inequality, and professional socialization
Performative Assimilation in Law School
Search the full text of this book
Yung-Yi Diana Pan
Despite the growing number of Asian American and Latino/a law students, many panethnic students still feel as if they do not belong in this elite microcosm, which reflects the racial inequalities in mainstream American society. While in law school, these students—often from immigrant families, and often the first to go to college—have to fight against racialized and gendered stereotypes. In Incidental Racialization, Diana Pan rigorously explores how systemic inequalities are produced and sustained in law schools.
Through interviews with more than 100 law students and participant observations at two law schools, Pan examines how racialization happens alongside professional socialization. She investigates how panethnic students negotiate their identities, race, and gender in an institutional context. She also considers how their lived experiences factor into their student organization association choices and career paths.
Incidental Racialization sheds light on how race operates in a law school setting for both students of color and in the minds of white students. It also provides broader insights regarding racial inequalities in society in general.
"In Incidental Racialization, Pan identifies the roles of race, class, and/or gender as a key component in the power dynamics at play in professional socialization in the United States. By looking at panethnicity and the racial dynamics experienced by Latinos and Asian Americans, she adds an important institutional and structural analysis that takes racial hierarchy into account. Her shrewd intersectional analyses explicates the experiences members of these groups have, paying attention to their institutional positionality as well as their identity negotiations."
Yung-Yi Diana Pan is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Brooklyn College, City University of New York.