Copyright (c) 2008 Thurgood Marshall Law Review
Thurgood Marshall Law Review
ARTICLE: CONSTRUCTING A DIVERSE STATE: LEGAL CHANGE AND THE GRADUAL INCORPORATION OF WOMEN IN THE U.S. ARMED FORCES
THURGOOD MARSHALL LAW REVIEW
33 T. Marshall L. Rev. 241
Rachel Marron* and Andrew B. Whitford**
What legal and social processes underpin the gradual integration of women in the United States armed forces? We examine contemporary military policies and public law to illuminate key synergistic developments in society and the laws that have lead to the present state of female incorporation in the armed forces. In this essay we focus on how legal and social changes support or constrain organizational change in the armed forces in a world where gender, political power, organizational performance, and legal structures interact.
We argue that present doctrine conflicts with the overall organizational culture of the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD). For these and other reasons, we continue to observe in the federal government problems associated with women in the ranks including sexual harassment, rape, fraternization, and male resentment. We also argue that these problems will persist until the DOD finds legal, social, and organizational ways to address intra-institutional norms that conflict with Department's overall organizational doctrine and legal mandates. Ultimately, we argue that changing these norms and instituting a new culture aligned with DOD policies and mandates requires forms of civilian and military leadership that have not been present at the Department during the last several years.
In general, we see the problem of changing the U.S. military and diversifying the modern fighting force as a problem of organizational dynamics. 1 Students of organizations and public administration have long struggled with the problem of finding ways to move forward both societies and the ...
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