What Is Sexual Harassment? From Capitol Hill to the Sorbonne

Synopsis

"An outstanding work. This book is at once an analysis of a disturbing social practice and a study in legal mobilization. Saguy gets inside the black box of culture by showing how a piece of legal culture gets produced, disseminated, and received. Paying close attention to the discursive possibilities in the legal texts, the work is grounded in the organizational settings through which representational struggles are waged, displaying how the laws came to be as they are. A rich and provocative account that will be the starting point for future discussions of sexual harassment."--Susan Silbey, author of "The Common Place of Law: Stories from Everyday Life

"In this pathbreaking comparative study, Saguy sheds light on a crucial aspect of the lives of many working women by analyzing the various frames through which sexual harassment is understood in two national contexts. While norms against sexual harassment are growing deeper roots in the American workplace, accusations of sexual improprieties remain often the object of ridicule in France. Saguy's explanation of this and other differences goes beyond traditional culturalist models. The beauty of her analysis is to capture some of the ways in which sexuality is used to gain power in the workplace, and the role played by cultural frameworks in mediating these modalities."--Michele Lamont, co-author of "Rethinking Comparative Cultural Sociology: Repertoires of Evaluation in France and the United States

"This sophisticated, yet highly readable and dramatic account reveals how differently sexual harassment is interpreted in the laws and social practices in the United States and France. Drawing on a wide range of research, Saguy reveals howpolitical and cultural differences in the two societies have implications for addressing the harm victims face. A must read for sociologists of organizational behavior and culture, as well as lawyers and the informed public.