Saturday, January 27, 2007

Beyond Race

The study I cited at the beginning of this week demonstrated that race is still a factor in whether or not you get a job. Now Truthdig has informed us of a study that deals with the question of how much you are likely to be paid, once you manage to get that job. This study involved a survey of 2084 legal immigrants, and the factor being examined was the shade of skin color. The bottom line: those with the lightest skin earned 8 to 15 percent more than immigrants who were basically the same in all respects except for having darker skin. By controlling for other factors, the study was able to conclude that this skin-tone prejudice goes beyond race. Readers may recall that I examined the earlier study for the powerful way in which it used discourse to make its point. Truthdig got this new study through Associated Press, which, as a matter of its professional policy, is concerned more with story than with discourse; so, in spite of the fact that this report is as important as its predecessor, I cannot assess the discourse impact of its researchers. I have to wonder, though: How many more of these studies we shall be encountering throughout this year (having not even gotten through January yet)?

No comments: