Cover image for Race and gender discrimination at work
Title:
Race and gender discrimination at work
Author:
Cohn, Samuel, 1954-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Boulder, Colo. : Westview Press, [2000]

©2000
Physical Description:
viii, 200 pages : maps ; 23 cm.
Language:
English
Reading Level:
1250 Lexile.
ISBN:
9780813332017

9780813332024
Format :
Book

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Status
Central Library HD6060 .C63 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
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Summary

Summary

In Race and Gender Discrimination at Work Samuel Cohns provides a fascinating, unorthodox account of the causes of discrimination at work. The book is packed with statistics, yet witty; rigorous, yet light. Cohn introduces readers to the fundamental realities of race and gender barriers in the workplace, and he goes beyond these as well by introducing startling new reinterpretations. Cohn is tactful enough to appeal to the conservative student, but honest enough to appeal to the feminist student.In the first several chapters, Cohn provides a description of the historical and current states of race and gender inequality and explains how employers persist in seemingly irrational actions, even in the face of more profitable alternatives. Cohn then turns to an introduction of the five primary social and economic theories of wages: marginal productivity theory, human capital theory, dual sector theory, union strength theory, and internal labor market theory. He follows with a review of the implications for pay differentials between blacks and whites. In subsequent chapters, he explores racial and gendered theories of wages for employment and unemployment. Finally, Cohn concludes with a review of the trends and causes of white male exclusionary attitudes towards blacks and women.This book is ideal for gender courses at all levels. Cohn's compelling, non-standard reformulations of traditional explanations of workplace inequalities make the book important for all serious scholars of gender studies.


Summary

In Race and Gender Discrimination at Work Samuel Cohns provides a fascinating, unorthodox account of the causes of discrimination at work. The book is packed with statistics, yet witty; rigorous, yet light. Cohn introduces readers to the fundamental realities of race and gender barriers in the workplace, and he goes beyond these as well by introducing startling new reinterpretations. Cohn is tactful enough to appeal to the conservative student, but honest enough to appeal to the feminist student. In the first several chapters, Cohn provides a description of the historical and current states of race and gender inequality and explains how employers persist in seemingly irrational actions, even in the face of more profitable alternatives. Cohn then turns to an introduction of the five primary social and economic theories of wages: marginal productivity theory, human capital theory, dual sector theory, union strength theory, and internal labor market theory. He follows with a review of the implications for pay differentials between blacks and whites. In subsequent chapters, he explores racial and gendered theories of wages for employment and unemployment. Finally, Cohn concludes with a review of the trends and causes of white male exclusionary attitudes towards blacks and women. This book is ideal for gender courses at all levels. Cohn's compelling, non-standard reformulations of traditional explanations of workplace inequalities make the book important for all serious scholars of gender studies.


Author Notes

Samuel Cohn is a Sociologist of race and gender at Texas A&M University. He is the author of The Author of Occupational Sex-typing , winner of the American Sociological Association's Jessie Barnard Award in 1989 for Best Book on the Sociology of Gender. He is also the co-author (with Mark Fossett) of The Geography of Racial Exclusion.


Samuel Cohn is a Sociologist of race and gender at Texas A&M University. He is the author of The Author of Occupational Sex-typing , winner of the American Sociological Association's Jessie Barnard Award in 1989 for Best Book on the Sociology of Gender. He is also the co-author (with Mark Fossett) of The Geography of Racial Exclusion.


Reviews 2

Choice Review

Cohn's short text on labor market discrimination explicates economic and sociological studies to illustrate, amplify, and direct students' understanding of gender and racial disadvantage. Language is suited especially for students, and the explanations concentrate on the implications of the studies rather than their methodology or models. All of the generally recognized theories of labor market discrimination receive attention, albeit the treatment is sometimes very brief. Cohn states the theory (e.g., human capital, comparable worth) and then reports studies that have examined and tend to refute or uphold the theory. As befits a text, the volume concludes with sections on conclusions reached, a glossary, a list of references, and study questions. Cohn finds support for the ideas that employer and employee discrimination are responsible for existing inequalities. Further, he provides a plausible discussion of circumstances in which competitive markets can be expected to reduce discrimination and when such discrimination may persist. His perspective combines sociology and economics, for example: "... cultural systems have their origins in workplace practices, and workplace practices have their origins in the economics of the occupations in which they originate." Useful for the classroom and for supplemental reading. General readers; lower-division undergraduate students and up. A. Bunton; Cottey College


Choice Review

Cohn's short text on labor market discrimination explicates economic and sociological studies to illustrate, amplify, and direct students' understanding of gender and racial disadvantage. Language is suited especially for students, and the explanations concentrate on the implications of the studies rather than their methodology or models. All of the generally recognized theories of labor market discrimination receive attention, albeit the treatment is sometimes very brief. Cohn states the theory (e.g., human capital, comparable worth) and then reports studies that have examined and tend to refute or uphold the theory. As befits a text, the volume concludes with sections on conclusions reached, a glossary, a list of references, and study questions. Cohn finds support for the ideas that employer and employee discrimination are responsible for existing inequalities. Further, he provides a plausible discussion of circumstances in which competitive markets can be expected to reduce discrimination and when such discrimination may persist. His perspective combines sociology and economics, for example: "... cultural systems have their origins in workplace practices, and workplace practices have their origins in the economics of the occupations in which they originate." Useful for the classroom and for supplemental reading. General readers; lower-division undergraduate students and up. A. Bunton; Cottey College


Table of Contents

1 Has the Problem of Inequality Gone Away?p. 1
Some Introductory Definitionsp. 3
Recent Trends in Inequalityp. 5
Racial Inequalityp. 6
Gender Inequalityp. 14
Occupational Typing Versus Status Segregationp. 23
Conclusionp. 26
Technical Appendixp. 27
Notesp. 27
2 Discrimination and Market Competitionp. 29
The Becker Model: Core Assumptionsp. 30
The Becker Model: Operationp. 31
The Feminist Gary Becker: Heidi Hartmannp. 34
Decision Theory: Why Organizations Don't Behave So Rationally After Allp. 36
The Link Between Decision Theory and Discrimination: Buffering from Competitionp. 40
Conclusionp. 49
Notesp. 49
3 What Determines If a Job Is Male or Female?p. 51
The Myth That Women Exclude Themselves from Employment: Supply-Side Theories of Occupational Sex-Typingp. 52
Demand-Side Theories of Occupational Sex-Typing: Some Preliminary Dead Endsp. 62
Demand-Side Theories of Occupational Sex-Typing: Buffering Modelsp. 68
Empirical Studies of Buffering and Sex-Typingp. 73
Notesp. 78
4 Why Are Women Confined to Low-Status Jobs?p. 79
Human Capital Theoryp. 80
Problems with Human Capital Theoryp. 83
Synthetic Turnoverp. 88
Differential Visibility Modelsp. 97
The Simplest Theory: Employee Discriminationp. 105
Conclusionp. 112
Notesp. 113
5 Why Are Women Paid Less Than Men?p. 114
The Overcrowding Hypothesisp. 115
Human Capital Theoryp. 122
Comparable Worth Theoryp. 126
Production Constraint Theoryp. 131
Notesp. 138
6 Why Are Blacks More Likely to Be Unemployed Than Are Whites?p. 140
A Cartographic Analysis of Race and Employmentp. 143
Shiftlessnessp. 150
IQ and Human Capitalp. 154
Spatial Mismatchp. 159
Employer Discriminationp. 161
Notesp. 165
7 Twenty-Six Things to Remember About Discriminationp. 166
Appendix A Glossaryp. 171
Appendix B A Socratic Guide to Race and Gender Discrimination at Workp. 174
Appendix C Problems for Deeper Thoughtp. 183
Referencesp. 185
Indexp. 193
1 Has the Problem of Inequality Gone Away?p. 1
Some Introductory Definitionsp. 3
Recent Trends in Inequalityp. 5
Racial Inequalityp. 6
Gender Inequalityp. 14
Occupational Typing Versus Status Segregationp. 23
Conclusionp. 26
Technical Appendixp. 27
Notesp. 27
2 Discrimination and Market Competitionp. 29
The Becker Model: Core Assumptionsp. 30
The Becker Model: Operationp. 31
The Feminist Gary Becker: Heidi Hartmannp. 34
Decision Theory: Why Organizations Don't Behave So Rationally After Allp. 36
The Link Between Decision Theory and Discrimination: Buffering from Competitionp. 40
Conclusionp. 49
Notesp. 49
3 What Determines If a Job Is Male or Female?p. 51
The Myth That Women Exclude Themselves from Employment: Supply-Side Theories of Occupational Sex-Typingp. 52
Demand-Side Theories of Occupational Sex-Typing: Some Preliminary Dead Endsp. 62
Demand-Side Theories of Occupational Sex-Typing: Buffering Modelsp. 68
Empirical Studies of Buffering and Sex-Typingp. 73
Notesp. 78
4 Why Are Women Confined to Low-Status Jobs?p. 79
Human Capital Theoryp. 80
Problems with Human Capital Theoryp. 83
Synthetic Turnoverp. 88
Differential Visibility Modelsp. 97
The Simplest Theory: Employee Discriminationp. 105
Conclusionp. 112
Notesp. 113
5 Why Are Women Paid Less Than Men?p. 114
The Overcrowding Hypothesisp. 115
Human Capital Theoryp. 122
Comparable Worth Theoryp. 126
Production Constraint Theoryp. 131
Notesp. 138
6 Why Are Blacks More Likely to Be Unemployed Than Are Whites?p. 140
A Cartographic Analysis of Race and Employmentp. 143
Shiftlessnessp. 150
IQ and Human Capitalp. 154
Spatial Mismatchp. 159
Employer Discriminationp. 161
Notesp. 165
7 Twenty-Six Things to Remember About Discriminationp. 166
Appendix A Glossaryp. 171
Appendix B A Socratic Guide to Race and Gender Discrimination at Workp. 174
Appendix C Problems for Deeper Thoughtp. 183
Referencesp. 185
Indexp. 193

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