Racial Ideology and Hiring Decisions in Silicon Valley

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This article examines the hiring practices of assembly workers in the high technology industry in Silicon Valley. While recent works have viewed “the significance of race” question with empirical analysis of the labor force, this study focuses on the employers and their subjectivity in making recruitment and hiring decisions. The ethnographic data reveals the central role of racial ideology in the recruitment and hiring process. Furthermore, the data demonstrates how racial ideology can have both an exclusionary and an inclusionary function in shaping the composition of the workforce. Based on the findings, I propose a greater sensitivity to employer racial bias in recruitment and hiring decision making and call for a more nuanced approach to examining racial inequality.


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