The Inequality Reader by Grusky David

The Inequality Reader by Grusky David

Author:Grusky, David
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Taylor and Francis
Published: 2018-04-18T16:00:00+00:00

The Laboratory Experiment

Paid undergraduate volunteers (84 men and 108 women) rated a pair of equally qualified, same-gender (either male or female), same-race (either African American or white) fictitious job applicants, presented as real, who differed on parental status. Since there were very few significant effects of participant gender or applicant race, we do not discuss these results here.

The Use of Undergraduates

The laboratory setting ensures sufficient control over factors that would interfere with tests of our hypotheses, such as other people in the room to prime other status characteristics, telephones, or other distractions, and it allows us to collect detailed measures to fully test our argument. By necessity we rely on a sample of undergraduates. The theory presented here implies that to the extent that employers share the belief that mothers are less committed to or competent in workplace settings, they too will subtly discriminate against mothers. Qualitative and quantitative research provides some evidence that employers share this belief (Blair-Loy 2003; Crittenden 2001; Kennelly 1999; Cleveland and Berman 1987; Cleveland 1991; Olian and Schwab 1988). The audit study, described below, will provide more direct evidence regarding the extent to which employers discriminate against mothers.


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