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DESTINY PEERY, Northwestern University

  • When: March 29, 2017, 12 pm
  • Where: ABF Woods Conference Room, 750 N. Lake Shore Drive, 4th Floor, Lakeside, Chicago IL 60611

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Beyond Explicit Bias? Challenges to Incorporating Implicit Bias as a Legal Theory of Discrimination

With the increasing recognition of “modern” forms of prejudice and discrimination that the original anti-discrimination doctrines did not anticipate and may be ill-equipped to address has come hand-wringing  by courts and legal scholars struggling to fit traditional legal models of discrimination to changed circumstances and evolving conceptions of prejudice and discrimination. This talk will address the under-developed legal discourse on modern forms of prejudice and discrimination against the backdrop of the social science research on the same.  Specific attention will be paid to the legal discourse and the attempted changes to legal doctrine based on the desire to incorporate ideas of implicit bias into traditional anti-discrimination doctrine, noting the, at present, overly-simplistic and impractical legal perspectives on the efficacy of implicit bias as a fix-all for a troubled doctrine. In addition, this talk seeks to re-complicate the legal and social discourse on stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination by highlighting the social science research that supports a broader understanding of discrimination that includes discussion of implicit bias alongside explicit, intentional, and systemic biases rather than as a replacement for these other forms of bias. It concludes with discussion of the future of implicit bias in anti-discrimination doctrine. 

Courtesy of Northwestern Pritzker School of Law

Destiny Peery joined the Northwestern faculty in 2014 as an Assistant Professor of Law. Prior to joining Northwestern, she served as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Law at Duke Law School. Professor Peery holds a JD and PhD in social psychology from Northwestern University. Her teaching and research interests focus on law and psychology perspectives on criminal law, discrimination law, the use of social science as evidence, and race and law.

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