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Just Who Loses?

Just Who Loses?: Discrimination in the United States, Volume 2

Samuel Roundfield Lucas
Copyright Date: 2013
Published by: Temple University Press
Pages: 346
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  • Book Info
    Just Who Loses?
    Book Description:

    In Just Who Loses? Samuel Roundfield Lucas continues his penetrating and comprehensive assessment of sex and race discrimination in the United States that he began in Theorizing Discrimination in an Era of Contested Prejudice.

    This new volume demonstrates that the idea of discrimination being a zero-sum game is a fallacy. If discrimination costs women, men do not necessarily reap the gains. Likewise, if discrimination costs blacks, non-blacks do not reap the gains. Lucas examines the legal adjudication of discrimination, as well as wider public debates about policy on the issue, to prove how discrimination actually operates.

    He uses analytic methods to show that across the socioeconomic lifecycle-including special education placement, unemployment, occupational attainment, earnings, poverty, and even mortality-both targets and non-targets of discrimination "lose."

    In Just Who Loses? Lucas proposes the construction of a broad-based coalition to combat the pervasive discrimination that affects social relations and law in the United States.

    eISBN: 978-1-4399-0852-5
    Subjects: Sociology, Law

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. List of Tables and Figures
    (pp. ix-xiv)
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xv-xviii)
  5. Introduction: Evidently, Too
    (pp. 1-3)

    I opened Volume 1 ofDiscrimination in the United Statesby asserting that the vast majority of evidence used to ascertain the effect of race discrimination on the success of blacks and the effect of sex discrimination on the success of women is, in a word, irrelevant. I noted that the evidence was silent not only concerning the impact of discrimination on blacks and women but also on the important question of whether whites and males gain or lose through the operation of antiblack and antiwoman discrimination. I then provided an orientation to the first volume that endeavored to encourage...

  6. 1 Effects of Discrimination in the United States
    (pp. 4-24)

    When people are held down, they tend not to do as well as they otherwise might. This straightforward observation implies that a phenomenon such as discrimination should be expected to have some effect on persons, certainly touching targets of discrimination in possibly many ways. Further, the observation implies that the experiences of nontargets will also be affected by discrimination. Despite these reasonable expectations, social analysts have been unable to produce even one example of a consensus estimate of the effect of discrimination for any area of the social world.

    The dearth of consensus estimates of the effects of discrimination is,...

  7. 2 Biological Explanations of Gender and Racial Inequality in the United States
    (pp. 25-58)

    I establish in Chapter 1 that inequality is not the proper basis for assessing the effect of discrimination. The claim can be generalized—in attempting to understand the reach of some putative causal phenomenon, one may easily be led astray by focusing on inequality of outcomes across different groups, because in the multicausal reality of the empirical world, any putative cause may matter even for outcomes that appear equal across groups. The complexity of causal processes means that two different groups of people may attain the same outcome through different paths. Despite this clear possibility, for various historical reasons, analysts...

  8. 3 Socialization and Cultural Difference Explanations of Race and Gender Inequality in the United States
    (pp. 59-89)

    I have claimed analysts have at their disposal only three fundamental ingredients to explain black disadvantage or gender socioeconomic inequality: (1) something is inherently wrong with blacks or women, (2) something is amiss in the socialization or culture of women or blacks, or (3) something is destructive in the treatment of blacks or women. No matter how simple or complex, all explanations of race or gender inequality are variants or combinations of these three broad explanations.

    Each explanation conjures up different mechanisms underlying race or gender inequality. The biological explanation, addressed above, refers to the internal processes of life, the...

  9. 4 The Comparative Measurement of Expected Exposure to Discrimination
    (pp. 90-137)

    In the first volume,Theorizing Discrimination in an Era of Contested Prejudice, I erect the ontological and epistemological foundation for a strategy of measuring discrimination as expected exposure. In concluding the volume, I claim that laws would provide a way to measure discrimination so theorized. However, I provide only the barest outline of a defense of law as a measure of expected exposure to discrimination. Moreover, I do not discuss which laws I plan to use, and although I defend the use of a supra-individual level of analysis, I do not identify a particular, concrete level of analysis as appropriate....

  10. 5 Education and Discrimination
    (pp. 138-173)

    We begin with education. Education is where the first turns of the formal socioeconomic life cycle occur. Schools are the first public institution most persons encounter without direct parental oversight, and thus schools arguably provide the first place where public concerns with fairness can be brought to bear. Further, the evidence supports what every parent and politician already knows: education matters for the lives people lead. The amount and the kind of education a person obtains opens some occupational doors and closes others, introduces some potential marriage partners and leaves others among the vast sea of strangers, validates some norms...

  11. 6 Opportunity to Work and Discrimination
    (pp. 174-206)

    Material well-being has several dimensions. Opportunity to work is key to all of them. Years of training for an occupation would have little material or perhaps even emotional payoff were there no work opportunities afterward. The vast majority of adults would have no income, or grossly insufficient income, were it not for their earnings from wage labor. And finally, partaking in the meaning of work requires engagement in work. Hence, time at work, its steadiness, its extensiveness, are important dimensions of labor force activity. These observations merely hint at the easily recognized importance of work.

    Many factors may serve to...

  12. 7 Job Quality and Discrimination
    (pp. 207-237)

    Obtaining a job is important, but the quality of the job obtained, its complex constellation of characteristics, is also of intrinsic importance. Sociologists have shown that the socioeconomic and nonsocioeconomic characteristics of jobs have wide-ranging effects, playing an important role in persons’ own intellectual development (e.g., Kohn and Schooler 1983), political participation (e.g., Verba and Nie 1972), life expectancy (e.g., Kitagawa and Hauser 1973), and child-rearing attitudes (e.g., Kohn, Slomczynski, and Schoenbach 1986), as well as their children’s educational attainment (e.g., Hauser, Tsai, and Sewell 1983), course placement (e.g., Lucas and Gamoran 2002), college entry (e.g., Lucas 2001), and more...

  13. 8 Poverty, Earnings, and Discrimination
    (pp. 238-262)

    Poverty has negative ramifications for outcomes as disparate as cognitive ability (e.g., Guo 1998), educational achievement (e.g., Entwisle and Alexander 1992), infant mortality (e.g., Gortmaker 1979), and overall life expectancy (Geronimus et al. 2001). Earnings are the primary source of economic sustenance for Americans, and thus, for the vast majority, earnings are the engine that keeps people out of poverty. Given the manifest centrality of poverty and earnings to persons’ well-being, any effect of discrimination on either of these two outcomes has wide-reaching effects on persons’ opportunities and life conditions. Thus, it is appropriate and illuminating to investigate the role...

  14. 9 Mortality and Discrimination
    (pp. 263-294)

    Death is the final outcome of interest, beside which all others pale in comparison. Analysts have long studied the age distribution of death, roughly indexed by life expectancy and mortality rates (e.g., Gaunt 1662). These social indicators differ across many subpopulations. For example, black males and black females in the United States have lower life expectancies than white males and white females, respectively (e.g., Tsai, Lee, and Kautz 1982). Females of both races now have longer life expectancies than males of either race, as in 1970 black females eclipsed the life expectancy of white males (e.g., Keith and Smith 1988)....

  15. 10 Just Who Loses?
    (pp. 295-308)

    The presentation of empirical results has reached its end. Over the course of this journey we noted the central distinction between inequality and discrimination; outlined the limitations of common alternative explanations of inequality; described and justified the specific research decisions implemented to produce these analyses; and presented the results of investigations of the association between discrimination and education, labor supply, socioeconomic status, occupational autonomy, occupational segregation, earnings, poverty, and mortality, mostly over six decades in U.S. history. Now I briefly summarize some of the key conclusions of the investigation.

    The work presented here stands on the foundation conveyed inTheorizing...

  16. References
    (pp. 309-338)
  17. Index
    (pp. 339-350)
  18. Back Matter
    (pp. 351-351)