Lecture Notes on The Anatomy of Racial Inequality-1

Lecture Notes on The Anatomy of Racial Inequality-1 - EC...

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EC 1370, Prof. Glenn C. Loury, March 2, 2010 Lecture Outline: The Anatomy of Racial Inequality Part I: General Overview of the Problem of Theorizing about Racial Disparities A. Classic Sociological Analysis of Racism covers (e.g. classic work of T. Pettigrew): 1. Prejudice – an irrational or unjustified prior belief about a group of people 2. Stereotypes -- over-generalizing belief extended from some to all group members 3. Discrimination – exclusionary behavior directed against a group of people 4. Note that the first two of these involve beliefs; the third entails action. Also, one can say that institutional racism arises when some/all of these factors become imbedded in the structure and the practices of organizations, bureaucracies, etc. B. Classic Economic Analysis of Racism covers (e.g., classic work of Gary Becker): 1. Taste for Discrimination – a preference/dislike for associating with people in some group; neither rational nor irrational in economist’s view, as with a liking for apples over oranges. “ De gustibus non disputandum es!!t ” Becker’s finding: in a competitive market environment, prejudice need not imply discrimination. 2. Statistical Discrimination – like taxicab e.g.; use group membership as signal of unobserved trait. May be self-fulfilling; sometimes based on objective difference 3. Can work through employers, co-workers, or customers to limit job opportunities of those discriminated-against. The logic of self-confirming feedback loops: a. Negative belief by observer leads to b. Action by observer adversely affecting subject observed, which leads to c. Re-action by subject that confirms original belief of observer. 4.
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Lecture Notes on The Anatomy of Racial Inequality-1 - EC...

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