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Dev Psychol. 2003 May;39(3):572-80.

Race and the workforce: occupational status, aspirations, and stereotyping among African American children.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, The University of Texas at Austin, 78712, USA. bigler@psy.utexas.edu


This study examined whether African American children's perceptions of occupational status and their own vocational interests are affected by racial segregation of the workforce. Children (N = 92) rated familiar occupations with respect to status, desirability, and stereotyping. Children also rated novel jobs that had been depicted with African Americans, European Americans, or both African and European Americans. As predicted, for familiar jobs, children's judgments were linked to their knowledge of racial segregation of these jobs. In addition, novel occupations that had been depicted with African Americans were judged as lower in status than the identical occupations that had been depicted with European Americans, demonstrating a causal influence of workers' race on children's judgments. Children's age and socioeconomic background moderated their occupational judgments.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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