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Equal Work, Unequal Careers: African Americans in the Workforce

Rochelle Parks-Yancy
Equal Work, Unequal Careers: African Americans in the Workforce
ISBN: 978-1-935049-23-4
2010/153 pages/LC: 2010007949
A FirstForumPress Book
"A much needed contribution.... This informative and richly detailed study helps to clarify the problems facing middle- and working-class black workers."—Steve McDonald, North Carolina State University


Why do some people get ahead in the workplace, while others, equally qualified, fall behind? Rochelle Parks-Yancy uses the experience of African American workers across the US to reveal how the forces of inequality and social capital shape long-term occupational success.

Parks-Yancy's mixed-methods approach probes the ways that people find jobs, lose jobs, and get promoted, illuminating the subtle nexus of race, social networks, and societal barriers that can make or break a career trajectory. Demonstrating how disadvantages can accumulate over time, she goes beyond affirmative action to outline how individual workers can seize the initiative in remedying labor market inequalities.      


Rochelle Parks-Yancy is associate professor of management in the Jesse H. Jones School of Business at Texas Southern University.


  • Careers and Social Capital.
  • Social Class, Education, and Finding Work.
  • Surviving Layoffs.
  • Race, Gender, and Accumulating Career (Dis)Advantages.
  • Social Program Interventions.
  • Conclusion: Strategies for Improving Access.