Rabbis, Lawyers, Immigrants, Thieves: Exploring Women's Roles

Rabbis, Lawyers, Immigrants, Thieves: Exploring Women's Roles

Rabbis, Lawyers, Immigrants, Thieves: Exploring Women's Roles

Rabbis, Lawyers, Immigrants, Thieves: Exploring Women's Roles

Synopsis

Simon explores the diverse and changing roles of women over twenty-five years. Part I includes several chapters that examine the experiences and performances of women in various traditionally male-dominated professional roles: as scholars, attorneys, corrections officers, rabbis and ministers. Part II deals with immigrants and their roles as new American women. In Part III, Simon discusses the types of crimes women commit, how they are treated in the criminal justice system, women as political terrorists, and how the public regards famous women offenders. In conclusion, Simon looks at how women's changing social roles affect their personal lives and political views.

Excerpt

Women rabbis, professors, criminal offenders, immigrants, and lawyers are some of the roles performed by women that are described in this book. Altogether the work represents more than twenty-five years worth of studies, ideas, and observations about women in American society. Part I focuses on women in academia and the professions. Chapter 1, published originally in 1966, examines the impact that nepotism rules had on the employment of women with Ph.D.'s at American universities. That piece represented one aspect of a larger inquiry into the work life and scholarly productivity of women in academia. Chapter 2, on the productivity of female scholars, originated with that study; but it has recently been revised and updated to compare the scholarly productivity of single and married women Ph.D.'s from 1957 to 1990 against the productivity of men who earned their doctorates in the same fields over the same time span.

Other chapters in this part focus on women attorneys, rabbis, ministers, and corrections officers. In contrast to women rabbis and ministers, the woman lawyer is a well-established role going back more than a century. The ordination of women as ministers and rabbis did not begin until the late 1960s and early 1970s. And employment of women corrections officers in men's prisons only began slightly more than a decade ago, in the early 1980s.

Even though women were admitted to law school and permitted to take the bar exam for more than a century, a big change occurred in the late 1960s, when the proportion of female law students increased from about 6 percent to over 40 percent. Chapter 3 traces a cohort of male and female graduates of a major law school from its founding in 1897 until 1978. The study surveyed all the women who received their law degrees up to 1978 and compared them to a sample of male graduates over the same time period. Respondents were asked to describe the professional positions they held and the types of law they prac-

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