SamplesAnalysisMinorities and WorkplacesBuy essay
← An Analysis of Death's Waiting ListThe Meaning of the World →

Free Example of Minorities and Workplaces Essay

It is a broadly recognized fact that minorities face discrimination in the workplace due to their racial and ethnic background. They often suffer more from the employers in such forms as discriminatory hiring, firing, blocked upward mobility, frequent downward mobility, daily harassment, and other forms of discrimination that make their working conditions stressful and even unbearable. This paper attempts to research the ways in which minorities and workplaces work while answering the following question: what discrimination is faced by minorities at the workplace. This issue is addressed through making a critical literature review of three recent scholarly articles researching the raised issue from various perspectives.

Type of assignment
Writer level
Title of your paper
Total price

The article by Vincent J. Roscigno, Lisa M. Williams, and Reginald A. Byron entitled Workplace racial discrimination and middle-class vulnerability was published in 2012, thus being a recent article addressing the topical issue of employment discrimination. The article is based upon both theoretical and empirical researches, hence being a valuable source of information concerning the discussed issue. The theoretical part of the research comprises the analysis of the extensive body of literature concerning the issue of racial workplace discrimination in terms of vulnerability and inequality of the African Americans while being hired, fired, promoted, and paid for their work. However, the authors of the article conclude that there is little available theoretical and empirical research concerning the issue of racial harassment at the workplace, especially, the issue of daily harassment that does not automatically lead to job termination. Nonetheless, the practical part of the conducted research clearly indicates that racial harassment constitutes a serious discriminatory offense at the workplace as about 20% of the analyzed verified cases of all workplace discrimination contain this abuse. The practical part of the research described in the article is based upon the analysis of 325 cases that have been randomly selected from a larger body of closed discriminatory charges filed with the Ohio Civil Rights Commission. The timeframe of the chosen instances encompasses the years 1986-2003 and offers the data that is sufficient for carrying out comprehensive research of workplace racial discrimination. The state of Ohio has a reported percentage of African Americans that is consistent with the national rate, thus being the ideal setting for the given research. All randomly selected cases are subdivided into two large groups with the designations of working-class or unskilled workers and middle class and higher. This way, the authors can also make a quantitative and qualitative comparative analysis of the workplace minority discrimination prevailing among the representatives of different social classes. The group of working-class or unskilled is represented by 190 cases while the middle class or higher group has 135 closed charges. All chosen cases are verified as the researchers may be sure this way that the racial discrimination has really occurred. The main delimitation of the study findings is that it deals only with written complaints that has been verified and investigated by the commission. It allows to assume that the real number of workplace racial discrimination is much bigger because workers seldom file charges against their employers due to racial discrimination and because they not always realize that they are being discriminated.

Although the researchers conduct a comparison of the discrimination types and their frequency among different social classes, the main emphasis of the article is placed upon the racial discrimination typical of the middle class. This prevalence may be explained by the authors’ claim about the insufficiency of existing researches concerning the middle class vulnerability and inequality from the racial perspective. Both working and middle classes suffer from five types of workplace discrimination. They are the following: “hiring discrimination, discriminatory firing, discrimination in wages, discrimination in mobility”, and workplace racial harassment. One of the article tables provides readers with a statistical comparison of the frequency of the above mentioned types among two classes. Working class suffers more than the middle class from firing discrimination while the latter is more frequently reported to be the victim of mobility discrimination and workplace harassment. Discrimination concerning hiring and wages is relatively equally represented among classes. Moreover, the given research includes a low percentage of cases with these two types of workplace discrimination as these offenses are rarely officially reported. They are more often studied in the course of various quantitative researches including the method of surveying the employees.

Live Chat

Middle class is sometimes considered to be less prone to be discriminated at workplace due to its higher status, enhanced working skills, and the presence of bureaucratic mechanisms. Nonetheless, the authors prove that the middle class suffers from workplace discrimination no less than the working class, if not more, yet discriminatory forms are much subtler and harder to prove. Obstacles to upward mobility and a tendency to downward mobility comprise the most often reported middle class equality violation. African Americans are scrutinized more by the employers than their White colleagues and often have to follow stricter rules and policies. It has been empirically proved that White workers are more likely to get promoted than the Black ones even if the latter are more qualified and eligible for the position. The same applies to the hiring process. The major perceived reason of this inequality is the low accountability of the supervisors responsible for the promotion. Their decisions are rarely questioned even if they have been obviously discriminatory. Similar situation is applicable in the instance of downward mobility when African American workers undergo demotion for petty violations while their White colleagues do not suffer from the same repercussions. The authors conclude that “this discriminatory injury is more than twice as prevalent among middle-class African American workers compared with those in lower occupational ranks”.

The novelty of the research is its stress upon the issue of workplace harassment among middle-class African American workers that constitutes 20% of the reviewed cases. This discriminatory injury is marked by subtle forms and more severe consequences for the workers’ psychological state. Moreover, those who suffer from it are rarely fired, thus being more susceptible to “greater isolation as well as employer retaliation”. This point is concluded to require a more thorough consideration in future researches of the workplace minority discrimination. Furthermore, ongoing workplace harassment due to racial reasons is proved to be more frequent among middle-class workers than among other social classes. On the whole, the article under consideration is a valuable resource of theoretical and empirical information in regards to the problem of racial workplace discrimination. The authors have managed to combine the analysis of previous researches with their own study of the issue with the emphasis upon discriminatory injuries pertaining to the middle class.

Workplace discrimination deals not only with racial discriminatory practices, but with sexual harassment as well. Various studies concentrate either upon one or another aspect of the problem, yet there has been little research done on the issue of how minority women’s discriminatory experience is affected by their belonging to both risk groups subject to discrimination. The article Workplace harassment: Double jeopardy for minority women by Jennifer L. Berdahl and Celia Moore is the first known by the year 2006 research of the issue of discrimination in terms of combined gender and ethnic bias. It is a comparative study of the data obtained from five organizations in the same metropolitan area taking into account the experienced reported by minority men, minority women, majority men, and majority women. Prior to this research, most studied have tried to resolve the so-called “oppression Olympics” issue attempting to define “who has it worse: women or ethnic minorities”. Workplace gender discrimination accounted for the experiences of White women while workplace ethnic discrimination was studied in regards to minority men. This way, researchers have long agreed upon the fact that women and minorities get lower wages, occupy less prestigious positions, and apply for less skilled jobs. Despite the obvious supposition that minority women suffer from higher degrees of discrimination due to their gender and ethnicity, researchers mainly ignore this field of research. Nonetheless, there is the double jeopardy hypothesis suggesting that minority women experienced more discrimination at workplace. This hypothesis exists in two versions. The hypothesis of the additive version sounds as following: “Minority women experience an amount equivalent to the sum of the amounts experienced by White women and minority men”, but “there is no interaction between sex and ethnicity of target on sexual harassment” and ethnic harassment. The multiplicative version supposes that sex and ethnicity are closely interconnected and multiply the effect of the overall harassment, thus hypothesizing that “The amount experienced by minority women exceeds the sum of the amounts experienced by White women and minority men”. The article tests both versions of the hypothesis on the basis of 238 completed 45-minutes long surveys containing questions concerning workplace sexual harassment, ethnic harassment, and overall discrimination. The researchers take into account the gender, ethnicity, workplace setting, and other essential factors that may have influenced the ultimate results prior to making any conclusions. Thus, the study has some limitations. The response rate is 30%, which is enough for conducting a research, yet may be deemed as insufficient for making any final conclusions. The study did not have any questions addressing problems peculiar for different ethnic groups as the number of the respondents was not sufficient for making distinctions between all ethnic groups. Therefore, researchers suppose that future studies have to include a larger number of participants and to address some issue typical of different ethic female representatives.

So far, 47% of the participants reported to have experienced at least one harassment episode during the period of two years before the survey. 23% experienced an episode of ethnic harassment while 38% experienced sexual harassment. However, the rate of negative evaluation of these episodes was rather low: “o.18 for harassment overall, 0.14 for sexual harassment, and 0.29 for ethnic harassment”. Both types of harassment were more frequently reported to occur in workplaces domineered by males. Sexual harassment was typical for females. The study has found an interesting tendency towards the increase of the not-man-enough sexual harassment that was reported by both males and females belonging to ethnic minorities.

The overall results of the study indicate the validity of the additive double jeopardy hypothesis. Consistent with this hypothesis, minority women experienced overall more discrimination while there was no interrelation between sex and ethnicity. The multiplicative version has not been supported by any findings of the research. However, authors state that their research is just the first attempt to investigate the issue and it has to be followed by further more thorough researches. Nonetheless, the problem of discriminating minority women more than minority men and White women has to be investigated because it has been so far underresearched despite its prevalence at workplace and drastic consequences for the involved population group.

It has been previously mentioned that minority groups experience wage discrimination at workplace. However, this type of discriminatory offence has been proved to be true not only for ethnic minorities and females, but also for the representatives of the non-traditional sexual orientation. The article An empirical analysis of homosexual/heterosexual male earnings differentials: Unmarried and unequal? by Sylvia A. Allegretto and Michelle M. Arthur is the first large-scale study of wage differentials between men having different sexual orientation. The main hypothesis of the research is that homosexual partnered males earn less than heterosexual married and unmarried partnered men, which has been proved by the presented statistics. The research findings state that homosexual men in partnered relationships earn 15.6% less than married men with similar qualifications and 2.4% less than unmarried partnered heterosexual men with similar qualifications. This wage discrepancy is often prescribed to the married premium that accounts for 14.1% of the wage differential.

The sample for the research has been obtained from the 1990 Census of the Population, Public Use Micro Data 5% Sample. The overall number of observations is 150,032 with 4,427 homosexuals, 59,477 heterosexual married males, and 86,128 unmarried partnered heterosexual males. The method exploited in the study is a traditional statistical earnings equations and all results are available both in adjusted and unadjusted forms. The adjusted statistical data takes into consideration various variables like education, age, field of occupation, experience, and other factors valid for making a consistent wage differential analysis. Moreover, researchers attempt to study the relationships between sexual orientation and age, race, and state in terms of wage differentials. There has been found no relative statistical interaction effects between homosexuality and race. Some interesting findings concern the interaction effect between homosexuality and age. Thus, gays of the age cohort 40-49 earn 7.9% less than unmarried heterosexual men while gays of the age cohort 20-29 earn 3.1% less than their heterosexual unmarried colleagues. The wage differential typical of the younger cohort is 61% smaller than the one of the older cohort. However, the wage differences are greater while comparing gays and married males from various age cohorts. The homosexual representatives of the age cohort 40-49 earn 22.2% less than married males while the difference in the youngest age cohort 20-29 is 12.3% (Allegretto & Arthur, 2001, p. 637). There is no qualitative explanation of the existing wage differential besides some theories concerning marriage premium. However, no researchers have found out exactly what reasons underlie a significant wage differential between homosexuals and heterosexuals. A possible explanation is that married heterosexuals are considered to possess certain personality traits like responsibility and commitment that are valued and respectively paid for. The article abounds in tables presenting the results of the study with different adjustments and divisions into occupation fields and other variables.

The authors conclude that the wage gap may be presented as the range between -0.024 and -0.156 (Allegretto & Arthur, 2001, p. 643). The researchers have decided to present their findings in the form of the range as they have been unable to determine the degree of commitment characteristic of the unmarried partnered homosexuals. An interesting observation deals with the comparison of gays and unmarried heterosexuals. If the wage differential between homosexuals and married men has been evident both in adjusted and unadjusted findings, the situation has been quite different for this comparative analysis. Without the adjustment to various variables, homosexual partnered men earn 22.2% more than unmarried partnered heterosexual males, but this number turns into the negative 2.4% coefficient after including all controls. This way, wage gap may be viewed as a kind of “wage penalty” for sexual orientation.

Furthermore, homosexuals are deemed to possess higher levels of education with the existing wage gap on all educational levels but the PhD degree when their earnings are relatively equal. Researchers also give a brief review of the labor division in the studied households concluding that homosexual households tend to consist of both working partners while heads of heterosexual households work more than their partners. The difference in labor division is explained by a higher percentage of children in heterosexual partnerships than in the homosexual ones. Nonetheless, researchers are not sure that the wage gap may be viewed as an outright form of discrimination as they suppose that further inquiries into the matter are required. The findings of the article become especially topical nowadays when the question about the legalization of same-sex marriages has risen to the forefront of the public concern.

The issue of workplace discrimination is a versatile problem that requires thorough investigation and continuous update of the existing data. The above reviewed articles clearly show that minorities tend to be more prone to workplace discrimination in comparison with the majority represented in a work setting. Gender and ethnic discrimination are the most frequently discussed points of the problem of overall workplace discrimination. The issue of sexual orientation and gender identity has recently become topical in terms of workplace discrimination as well. Despite a considerable amount of researches concerning this problem, further studies are required in order to be able to tackle this obstacle.

Code: writers15

Related essays

  1. The Meaning of the World
  2. Native American Names in Sport
  3. An Analysis of Death's Waiting List
  4. The Meaning of the National Anthem
View all