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Lecture 12

SOCI 230 Lecture Notes - Lecture 12: Social Desirability Bias, Invisibility, Meritocracy

Course Code
SOCI 230
Zoua Vang

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Lecture #12
Method 2: Attitudinal surveys of whites/dominant group members)
Administer to dominant groups in society
Ask respondents about attitudes towards other groups, specifically about laws
Through surveys or interviews
Example: Kirschenman & Neckerman (1991): hiring practices of Chicago firms
Rank ordering
Employers had stereotypes about the work ethics of certain racial groups
Whites: stronger work ethic than black or Puerto Rican employees
Appearance, communication skills and styles, personalities etc.
oGatekeepers are white Americans
oPerceptions about their work force
oWant to hire them but x,y,z
Problems with attitudinal surveys
oSocial desirability bias
Laws that prevent bias so employers are not as open to sharing their ideas about racial
Method 3: statistical analysis
Take disparate outcome (e.g. wages)
Control for confounding characteristics
E.g. white male earns more than Hispanic male (level of education, Hispanic is a recent
immigrant not enough work experience) - confounding characteristics that can be the
answer to the question
Goal: see if difference can be "explained" away
Residual (what's left) = discrimination
Problems with Statistical Analysis
Omitted variable bias
Something that was not observed in data, related to other qualities
Cannot definitively declare they are receiving different treatment because of
Method 4: audit (experimental) studies
Manipulating one characteristic most likely race
E.g. sending out people trained to the same apartment listings but one is black and one is
white, sending out CVs with one foreign sounding name and one white sounding name,
same qualifications
Problems with audit studies
Difficult to conduct
Only limited # of variable to examine
Not double-blind
oWhich society a person is in
oHurting the landlords chance as there is no chance of a buyer
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