Ellen Berrey


Email: ellen.berrey@utoronto.ca

Office: 725 Spadina; Rm. 352 ; UTM: DV3221

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Ellen Berrey

Assistant Professor  

 

Biography

Dr. Ellen Berrey studies how law, organizational practice, and culture influence inequality. She asks: how do these forces perpetuate or alleviate racial and economic disadvantage? How do they reinforce the advantages enjoyed by dominant groups? Her projects to date have examined diversity discourse, affirmative action politics, employment discrimination litigation, corporate social responsibility, and urban gentrification. In addition to her appointment at University of Toronto, she is an affiliated scholar of the American Bar Foundation.

Dr. Berrey’s first book, The Enigma of Diversity: The Language of Race and the Limits of Racial Justice (University of Chicago Press 2015) is a multi-case ethnographic and historical analysis. In it, she argues that the popular public commitment to “diversity” in the U.S. represents the taming of radical demands for racial justice. The book has been awarded the 2016 Herbert Jacob Book Prize of the Law & Society Association, the 2016 Distinguished Book Award of the Sociology of Law section of the American Sociological Association, and the 2016 Mary Douglas Book Prize Honorable Mention of the Sociology of Culture section of the American Sociological Association. Her second book, with Robert Nelson and Laura Beth Nielsen, Rights on Trial: How Employment Discrimination Law Perpetuates Inequality, will be published in 2017 on the University of Chicago Press’s Law & Society Series. Based on a novel mixed methods design, this book documents the dynamics of employment discrimination legal cases in the U.S. and various parties’ experiences of litigation. It reveals the mechanisms by which law reinscribes social hierarchies of race, gender, (dis)ability, and age.

Her second book, with Robert Nelson and Laura Beth Nielsen, Rights on Trial: How Employment Discrimination Law Perpetuates Inequality (University of Chicago Press 2017) documents the dynamics of employment discrimination legal cases in the U.S. and various parties’ experiences of litigation. Based on a novel mixed methods design, this book reveals the mechanisms by which law reinscribes social hierarchies of race, gender, (dis)ability, and age. Dr. Berrey’s new projects explore anti-racism student protests in the U.S. and Canada, affirmative action in U.S. college admissions, social entrepreneurship, and the symbolic politics of sustainability.