Racial Fluidity And Inequality In The United States Summary

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Saperstein and Penner’s article, “Racial Fluidity and Inequality in the United States,” highlights the processes that make race a product of expectations, versus an unchangeable essential constant, how it was perceived as for so long in history. Race, they argue, is defined by expectations in which people are judged in everyday interactions. Because of these these expectations (“stereotypes”) of how people should act, which is especially dependent on their fluctuating social status, black stigmatization and white privilege are able to survive and flourish. In their research they discovered that people tended to be classified (and identify themselves) as “more white” or “more black” based on the fluctuating positive and negative attributes to …show more content…
How employers in this study viewed black people in relation to white people, especially for something as everyday as a job interview, showed enormous disparity. In her audit study, Pager desired to clarify the effects of a criminal record on subsequent job opportunities, doubting that some people with certain behaviors were just naturally destined to also be incarcerated; while not the focus of the study, Pager found that while persons without a criminal record got more callbacks than candidates without, white criminals actually got more callbacks than black non criminals, which seems illogical unless considering the history of racism that stemmed from the advent of slavery and the Jim Crow Era into the present day of stereotyping African-Americans leading people to believe that black people are inherently criminals and thieves and thugs, more dangerous than even a white person with clear evidence of a criminal record (Pager). Despite a stereotype’s inaccuracy, and possibly its outdatedness, it remains salient and it creates a new reality - one that favors white people, inarguably the hegemonic population in the United States. And if a hegemonic social group has power in important fields, it can undoubtedly create systems of perpetuation wherein

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