Documenting Desegregation: Racial and Gender Segregation in Private Sector Employment Since the Civil Rights Act

Documenting Desegregation: Racial and Gender Segregation in Private Sector Employment Since the Civil Rights Act

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Enacted nearly fifty years ago, the Civil Rights Act codified a new vision for American society by formally ending segregation and banning race and gender discrimination in the workplace. But how much change did the legislation actually produce? As employers responded to the law, did new and more subtle forms of inequality emerge in the workplace? In an insightful analysis that combines history with a rigorous empirical analysis of newly available data, Documenting Desegregation offers the most comprehensive account to date of what has happened to equal opportunity in America—and what needs to be done in order to achieve a truly integrated workforce. Weaving strands of history, cognitive psychology, and demography, Documenting Desgregation provides a compelling exploration of the ways legislation can affect employer behavior and produce change. Authors Kevin Stainback and Donald Tomaskovic-Devey use a remarkable historical record—data from more than six million workplaces collected by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) since 1966—to present a sobering portrait of race and gender in the American workplace. Progress has been decidedly uneven: black men, black women, and white women have prospered in firms that rely on educational credentials when hiring, though white women have advanced more quickly. And white men have hardly fallen behind—they now hold more managerial positions than they did in 1964. The authors argue that the Civil Rights Act's equal opportunity clauses have been most effective when accompanied by social movements demanding changes. EEOC data show that African American men made rapid gains in the 1960s at the height of the Civil Rights movement. Similarly, white women gained access to more professional and managerial jobs in the 1970s as regulators and policymakers began to enact and enforce gender discrimination laws. By the 1980s, however, racial desegregation had stalled, reflecting the dimmed status of the Civil Rights agenda. Racial and gender employment segregation remain high today, and, alarmingly, many firms, particularly in high-wage industries, seem to be moving in the wrong direction and have shown signs of resegregating since the 1980s. To counter this worrying trend, the authors propose new methods to increase diversity by changing industry norms, holding human resources managers to account, and exerting renewed government pressure on large corporations to make equal employment opportunity a national priority. At a time of high unemployment and rising inequality, Documenting Desegregation provides an incisive re-examination of America's tortured pursuit of equal employment opportunity. This important new book will be an indispensable guide for those seeking to understand where America stands in fulfilling its promise of a workplace free from discrimination.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780871548344
Publisher: Russell Sage Foundation
Publication date: 09/01/2012
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 412
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

KEVIN STAINBACK is assistant professor of sociology at Purdue University. DONALD TOMASKOVIC-DEVEY is professor of sociology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Table of Contents

List of Tables and Figures vii

About the Authors xvii

Acknowledgments xix

Introduction xxi

Part I National Equal Opportunity Politics 1

Chapter 1 Documenting Desegregation 3

Chapter 2 Hyper-Segregation in the Pre-Civil Rights Period 50

Chapter 3 The Era of Uncertainty, 1966 to 1972 84

Chapter 4 The Short Regulatory Decade, 1972 to 1980 118

Chapter 5 Desegregation in the Neoliberal Era, 1980 to 2005 155

Part II Local Inequality Regimes 179

Chapter 6 Local Labor Market Competition and New Status Hierarchies 181

Chapter 7 Sector and Industry Segregation Trajectories 211

Chapter 8 Contemporary Workplace Dynamics 250

Chapter 9 National to Local Segregation Trajectories 293

Methodological Appendix 323

Notes 339

References 345

Index 363

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