African American access to management post-1990: A review and critique of existing sociological research

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Abstract

This study reviews and critiques the growing body of sociological research that has dramatically increased our understanding of the dynamics of African American disadvantage in access to managerial positions across the post-1990 period. This literature, first, identifies both the burdensome barriers to entry faced by African Americans (e.g., a relatively narrow and formalistic route to management which is pronounced in the private sector) and how equal employment opportunity (EEO) directives may reduce them. Second, it establishes that African Americans face more difficulties retaining positions than Whites (e.g., process of downward movement is broad and generalized and is pronounced in the private sector) and formal EEO policy governing the process of downward movement often institutionalizes racial inequalities. Nevertheless, both richer/more definitive empirical insights and theoretical development on this topic remains elusive because of two fundamental shortcomings discussed as follows: (1) the nature and consequences of severe data/evidentiary limitations, and (2) limitations in the scope/breadth of issues examined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalSociology Compass
Volume14
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2020

Keywords

  • African Americans
  • access
  • inequality
  • management
  • mobility
  • opportunity
  • race

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)

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