Racial segregation among postsecondary workers

Stephen Kulis, Heather E. Shaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


This article examines the racial composition and degree of job segregation among current and recently hired employees in U.S. four-year colleges and universities. After describing aggregate level patterns of black representation by job category, a contextual analysis identifies organizational conditions under which the racial segregation of postsecondary workers is most, and least, severe. Hypotheses are derived from different views of the forces shaping racial patterns in the workplace: organizational constraints on institutionalized discrimination, geographic location relative to local and national labor pools of black workers, and interinstitutional competition to attract relatively scarce black doctorate holders. Results highlight the role of local black populations in black representation at all employment levels and show smaller effects of internal and external institutional factors that may help curb discrimination: large size, fomalization, public sponsorship, and reliance on federal sources of revenue. Measures of an institution's competitive position have small and inconsistent effects. Implications for the status of black workers in colleges and universities are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)575-591
Number of pages17
JournalSocial Forces
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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