This study uses data from the 1988 to 1992 waves of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) to assess predictions from the particularistic mobility thesis concerning how African American and White males reach the Managers-Administrators and Professional-Technical census-based occupational categories. The findings provide support for the particularistic mobility thesis. In particular, African Americans, relative to Whites, attain both occupational categories on the basis of a narrow and circumscribed route: for African Americans, the acquisition of significant human capital credentials and experience at a similar level in the occupational structure in next-to-last job with the same employer are important prerequisites for moving into privileged occupations. Furthermore, analyses indicate that particularistic employment practices are more pronounced in the private than the public sector. The implications of the findings for explaining racial differences in representation in the two occupational categories are discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science
- Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management