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Book part
Publication date: 20 May 2019

Reginald A. Byron and Vincent J. Roscigno

Research on racial inequality in organizations typically (1) assumes constraining effects of bureaucratic structure on the capacity of powerful actors to discriminate or (2…

Abstract

Research on racial inequality in organizations typically (1) assumes constraining effects of bureaucratic structure on the capacity of powerful actors to discriminate or (2) reverts to individualistic interpretations emphasizing implicit biases or self-expressed motivations of gatekeepers. Such orientations are theoretically problematic because they ignore how bureaucratic structures and practices are immersed within and permeated by culturally normative racial meanings and hierarchies. This decoupling ultimately provides a protective, legitimating umbrella for organizational practices and gatekeeping actors – an umbrella under which differential treatment is enabled and discursively portrayed as meritocratic or even organizationally good. In this chapter, we develop a race-centered conception of organizational practices by drawing from a sample of over 100 content-coded workplace discrimination cases and analyzing both discriminatory encounters and employer justifications for inequality-generating conduct. Results show three non-mutually exclusive patterns that highlight the fundamentally racial character of organizations: (1) the racialization of bureaucracies themselves via the organizational valuation and pursuit of “ideal workers,” (2) the ostensibly bureaucratic and neutral, yet inequitable, policing of minority worker performance, and; (3) the everyday enforcement of racial status boundaries through harassment on the job, protection afforded to perpetrators, and bureaucratically enforced retaliation aimed at victims. The permeation of race-laden presumptions into organizations, their activation relative to oversight and bureaucratic policing, and the invoking of colorblind bureaucratic discourses and policies to legitimate discriminatory conduct are crucial to understanding the organizational dimensions of racial inequality production. We end by discussing the implications of our argument and results for future theory and research.

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Race, Organizations, and the Organizing Process
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-492-3

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Book part
Publication date: 7 November 2018

George Wilson and Vincent J. Roscigno

The burgeoning sociological literature on African American/White men’s downward mobility has failed to examine dynamics at the working-class level and has not conducted analyses…

Abstract

The burgeoning sociological literature on African American/White men’s downward mobility has failed to examine dynamics at the working-class level and has not conducted analyses at the refined job level. Within the context of the minority vulnerability thesis, we address these shortcomings, and specifically utilizing data from the 2011–2015 waves of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, we examine racial difference in the incidence, determinants, and timing of downward mobility from two working-class job types, elite blue collar and rank-and-file jobs. Findings our expectation of ongoing, contemporary vulnerability: from both working-class origins, African Americans relative to Whites experience higher rates of downward mobility, experience it on a broad basis that is not explained by traditional stratification-based causal factors (e.g., human capital and job/labor market characteristics) and experience downward mobility more quickly. Further, these racial inequalities are pronounced at the elite blue-collar level, probably because of heightened practices of social closure when supervisory responsibility is at stake. We conclude by discussing the implications of these findings for understanding both the ongoing and future socioeconomic well-being of African Americans in the US.

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Race, Identity and Work
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-501-6

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2002

Vincent J. Roscigno, William F. Danaher and Erika Summers‐Effler

Highlights the importance of music in ritual and culture generally, extending the focus to collective action. Argues that music and its emotional and cognitive impacts can be…

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Abstract

Highlights the importance of music in ritual and culture generally, extending the focus to collective action. Argues that music and its emotional and cognitive impacts can be fundamental to the construction of social movement culture. Analyses song lyrics from the southern textile strikes of 1929‐1934 in an attempt to show how music and song helped construct a collective identity across relatively dispersed mill villages, shifted accountability for mill workers problems towards the labour process and its beneficiaries and suggested to the listener a collective solution. Discusses the implications of the findings for understanding music, culture and their relation to subordinate group challenge.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 22 no. 1/2/3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

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Book part
Publication date: 19 August 2016

George Wilson and Vincent J. Roscigno

Sociological research on work and job authority, while most often highlighting the material implications of workplace status, has largely overlooked the implications of…

Abstract

Sociological research on work and job authority, while most often highlighting the material implications of workplace status, has largely overlooked the implications of experiential aspects of work for broader orientations toward the social world including, most poignantly, stratification beliefs. Building on classic and contemporary statements regarding the centrality of workplace experiences, and utilizing data from the 2012 General Social Survey, we analyze job authority specifically and its consequences for general beliefs surrounding inequality. Results, which account for a variety of other status attributes and material benefits of employment, demonstrate how authority tasks, especially in concert with authority tenure, shape traditionally conservative ideological stances, specifically: (1) restrictive support for socioeconomic redistributive policy, and; (2) perceptions of the functional necessity of socioeconomic inequality. These patterns are robust in the face of controls, though tend to be stronger among Whites and private sector workers compared to African American and public sector workers. Our findings inform inequality scholarship by highlighting the significance of workplace experiences for stratification worldviews and arguably support for redistributive policy. They also extend the sociology of work literature by relating how workplace experiences are carried into the broader social world.

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Research in the Sociology of Work
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-405-1

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Abstract

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A Gedenkschrift to Randy Hodson: Working with Dignity
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-727-1

Abstract

Details

Research in the Sociology of Work
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-405-1

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 19 August 2016

Abstract

Details

Research in the Sociology of Work
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-405-1

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 20 May 2019

Abstract

Details

Race, Organizations, and the Organizing Process
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-492-3

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 7 November 2018

Abstract

Details

Race, Identity and Work
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-501-6

Book part
Publication date: 12 June 2017

Mike Vuolo, Christopher Uggen and Sarah Lageson

This paper tests whether employers responded particularly negatively to African American job applicants during the deep U.S. recession that began in 2007. Theories of labor…

Abstract

This paper tests whether employers responded particularly negatively to African American job applicants during the deep U.S. recession that began in 2007. Theories of labor queuing and social closure posit that members of privileged groups will act to minimize labor market competition in times of economic turbulence, which could advantage Whites relative to African Americans. Although social closure should be weakest in the less desirable, low-wage job market, it may extend downward during recessions, pushing minority groups further down the labor queue and exacerbating racial inequalities in hiring. We consider two complementary data sources: (1) a field experiment with a randomized block design and (2) the nationally representative NLSY97 sample. Contrary to expectations, both analyses reveal a comparable recession-based decline in job prospects for White and African American male applicants, implying that hiring managers did not adapt new forms of social closure and demonstrating the durability of inequality even in times of structural change. Despite this proportionate drop, however, the recession left African Americans in an extremely disadvantaged position. Whites during the recession obtained favorable responses from employers at rates similar to African Americans prior to the recession. The combination of experimental methods and nationally representative longitudinal data yields strong evidence on how race and recession affect job prospects in the low-wage labor market.

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Emerging Conceptions of Work, Management and the Labor Market
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-459-0

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