Conference Agenda

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Session Overview
RN19_10a: Law and Legitimization
Friday, 23/Aug/2019:
2:00pm - 3:30pm

Session Chair: Antero Olakivi, University of Helsinki
Location: BS.3.27
Manchester Metropolitan University Building: Business School, Third Floor, North Atrium Oxford Road


Ethical and Economical Challenges of Italian lawyers. The Case of Lawyers Defending Mafia Clients.

Ombretta Ingrascì

University of Milan, Italy

The paper deals with the ethical and economical challenges faced by Italian lawyers in the last thirty years by exploring the case of lawyers defending mafia clients.

Starting from the assumption that lawyers of mafia clients might perform their role in different ways - from the legitimate defence to the direct participation into the activities of mafia associations, given their expertise and social capital- this paper explores the structural and individual mechanisms influencing the lawyers’ shift from a legitimate conduct to a criminal one. Focussing on the case of Sicilian mafia, Cosa nostra, the paper argues that such mechanisms are linked, on the one side, to the changes undertaken by this mafia organization, that have led to increase its demand for professional services and, on the other side, to the challenges faced by lawyers as professional category due to the growth of market competition.

The research is based on a mixed-method approach, combining the analysis of secondary literature and quantitative data on the transformations experienced by the legal profession in Italy with the analysis of a set of case studies of lawyers charged with the crime of mafia association through interviews with key observers (including a lawyer, who turned state witness) and judicial files.

By framing the analysis within neo-institutional theories, which understand professionals as “institutional agents” that contribute to shape various social spheres (Scott 2008), the paper addresses some pivotal ethical and socio-economic questions related to the impact of lawyers’ misconducts on the professional environment and the broader society.

Gender and Age Inequalities in the Professions: Careers and Work-Life Reconciliation in Canadian Engineering and the Legal Profession in Finland

Marta Choroszewicz1, Tracey L Adams2

1University of Eastern Finland, Finland; 2The University of Western Ontario, Canada

The article explores men’s and women’s experiences of professional careers through an intersectional lens by focusing on the intersection of gender and age. Engineering and the legal profession are male-dominated, which is reflected in divisions of labour, hierarchies, career choices, recognition of skills and returns on career investments that have traditionally favoured men. Nevertheless, there are signs of significant change. Over the last several decades engineering in Canada has taken steps to encourage women’s entrance and retention in the profession. Finnish parental leave policies have been undergoing changes to encourage fathers’ involvement in caregiving responsibilities for their newly born children. Do these policies contribute to more gender equality and work-life balance among professionals? By combining intersectionality theory with a life course approach, this paper sheds light on the impact of family life on careers, among Canadian men and women engineers, and Finnish men lawyers. Our analyses show that experiences of work-life conflict – and its impact on careers – differ significantly across age and gender in Canadian engineering. Moreover, our analyses demonstrate that Finnish male lawyers of different age cohorts negotiate diverse narratives of fatherhood. In both professions experiences of work-life conflict are individualised by being seen as a private challenge rather than professional or organisational issue. The article contributes to literature on inequalities in the professions by demonstrating the ways in which gender and age converge to confer privilege and produce disadvantage, and the ways in which gender inequality is reproduced, and disrupted, through the activities of professionals on the job.

The Discourse of Professionalism as Instrument of Legitimization: case study Czech civic sector

Magdalena Stovickova Jantulova

Charles University, Czech Republic

In last year a different interpretation of the concept of professionalism is developing. This article is framed within the interpretation of the concept as a discourse (Evetts, 2003). In this paper, I will try to answer a question: How and in what ways the discourse of professionalism is being used by actors of Czech civic sector as an instrument of legitimization of sector? This study is framed within the theory and methodology of Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA). It analyze the linguistic ways in which legitimatization is constructed in discourse (Fairclough 2003). The study use the set of categories proposed by Van Leeuwen (2007) addressing legitimization in discourse: authorization, moral evaluation, rationalization and mythopoesis. It includes an exploration of empirical studies of text and talk of reprezentative of civic sector organizations to other members of society. This article aims to introduce different paths in which legitimization takes place in discourse of professionalism.