Men's mobility into management from blue collar and white collar jobs: Race differences across the early work-career

George Wilson, David Maume

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Within the context of the "particularistic mobility thesis" we examine racial differences in the incidence, and determinants of, as well as timing to, mobility into management across the critical early career years at a refined level, namely, when groups share similar white collar and blue collar jobs. Findings from a Panel Study of Income Dynamics sample of men support theory and indicate that from both job levels a racial hierarchy exists: African Americans have the lowest rate of mobility, reach management through a route that is relatively formal and structured by a traditional range of stratification-based causal factors and take longest to reach management. Whites, in contrast, have the highest mobility rate, reach management through a relatively informal path that is less structured by traditional stratification-based factors, and reach management the quickest, and, across all three issues Latinos occupy an intermediate ground between African Americans and Latinos. Further, as predicted by theory, racial differences, particularly, relative to whites, are greater among those tracked from blue collar jobs than white collar jobs. Discussed are implications of the findings for understanding racial disadvantage in the American labor market across the work-career and on an inter-generational basis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)117-129
Number of pages13
JournalSocial Science Research
StatePublished - Jul 2014


  • Jobs
  • Mobility
  • Race
  • Work-career

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science


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