Job Authority and Perceptions of Job Security: The Nexus by Race Among Men

George Wilson, Krysia Mossakowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


A benefit of attaining job authority is heightened perceptions of job security, though no research has examined whether (a) this benefit operates equally across racial groups; and (b) if it does not operate equally across racial groups, why not? Analyzing a combined 2004 and 2006 General Social Survey sample of men, we find-among those who have attained an "upper command" level of job authority-that workplace-based marginality (discriminatory allocation and evaluation practices) rather than dispositions (e.g., fatalism, mistrust) learned outside of the workplace account for lower levels of perceived security among African Americans and Latinos, relative to Whites. Additional sectoral analyses indicate that this pattern is especially pronounced in the private, but not public sector. Discussed are the implications of the findings for understanding racial inequality at privileged levels of the American workplace.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1509-1524
Number of pages16
JournalAmerican Behavioral Scientist
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2012


  • job authority
  • middle class
  • race relations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences(all)


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