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Redressing discrimination through expressive means: weaknesses and potential of anti-discrimination law

Pérez Portilla, K.N.; (2011) Redressing discrimination through expressive means: weaknesses and potential of anti-discrimination law. Doctoral thesis, UCL (University College London).

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Abstract

Using critical theory, feminist studies, interdisciplinary social science literature and a microcomparison of legislation from the UK and Mexico, including their international and regional sources, this thesis argues that there is no adequate analysis of the legal dimensions associated with the cultural aspects of discrimination such as demeaning stereotypical representation in the media. This is in spite of the fact that various social science disciplines; international instruments; media selfregulatory codes and indeed the targets of such practices through the organised civil society working against discrimination, have pointed out that demeaning and stereotypical images and messages can cause a harm and be discriminatory. Arguing that discrimination overall operates at interacting and overlapping levels; structural, institutional and personal levels as well as the cultural, the thesis is built on both the need for and potential of anti-discrimination law to protect targeted groups against ‘the printed and audiovisual production and reproduction of images and messages that use demeaning stereotypes, ridicule and denigrate people on the grounds of their belonging to a disadvantaged group’. The thesis proposes and explores the use of the analytical tool, ‘Discrimination through Expressive Means’ (DEM) as a vehicle with which to address and redress what it argues constitutes this form of discrimination. The comparison between Mexico and the UK is functional because both jurisdictions encounter and have addressed DEM although they have not recognised it as such. It is also profitable because these two jurisdictions have developed different ways of understanding and responding to the same harm which allows for an exploration of their respective underpinnings, advantages and disadvantages. The research provides elements with which to begin a theoretical analysis of the harm created through DEM and develops general principles useful for recognising DEM as a justiciable harm in order that bad speech may be combated with more speech.

Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Title:Redressing discrimination through expressive means: weaknesses and potential of anti-discrimination law
Language:English
Additional information:Permission for digitisation not received
UCL classification:UCL > School of Arts and Social Sciences > Faculty of Laws

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