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Vol 21 No 11 Nov/Dec 2016

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The Social Construction of Sexual Harassment Law

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Mia L. CahillInstitute for Law and Society, New York University, USA and Mathematica Policy Research, USA

ISBN13: 9780754621201
ISBN: 0754621200
Published: March 2002
Publisher: Ashgate Publishing Ltd
Format: Hardback
Price: Out of print



Perceptions of law vary across cultures, within organizations or among individuals. The author considers the significance or variation at all three of these levels to expand the notion of social context and show how it fundamentally influences the understandings and implementation of legal rules. While relatively new to the legal arena, sexual harassment is firmly established as a legal wrong in the US and in many other countries around the world, including Austria.;The author argues that the range of reactions to sexual harassment are the result of differing perceptions of both the social problem of sexual harassment and its solutions in law. She chose the laws of sexual harassment in Austria and the USA as the sites of the study due to the striking similarity in the substance of the sexual harassment laws in the two countries. However, while the legal definition of ""harm"" of sexual harassment in the two countries is substantially similar, the laws exist in very different systems and very different national contexts; allowing the author to isolate the role of national context on understandings of law.;Within the US and Austrian settings, the author has selected five organizational case studies and asks how the national context, organizational context and individual context contribute to perceptions of law.

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Contents:
The social context of sexual harassment - the national level; sexual harassment law in the US and Austria; the social context of sexual harassment - managerial interpretations of the law; the national, organizational and individual levels of social context; employee perceptions of illegal sexual harassment and employee support for punitive organizational actions. Appendices: methods; employee opinions about law survey.