Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: April 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963879 | Print ISBN: 9781412926942 | Online ISBN: 9781412963879| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Labor Market Segmentation
Gary Kinte Perry
Throughout U.S. labor history, peoples of color have been disproportionately tracked and channeled into secondary or periphery sectors of the labor market. Although federal legislation, such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964, has been central in addressing racially discriminatory employment practices and policies, U.S. Census data continually show an overpopulation of racial/ethnic minorities in occupations or firms associated with the service sector and manual labor. As a consequence, underrepresented minorities have generally had a lower socioeconomic status, fewer occupational choices, and less social mobility—relative to White non-Hispanic populations—throughout U.S. history. This entry discusses the concept of labor markets and the process by which work and workers in the United States become racially segmented within this economic and sociopolitical construct. Labor markets are social and economic constructs that organize the process by which labor—or, in the Marxian context, one's labor power —is purchased and sold. This socioeconomic exchange exists between ...