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Race, Gender, and the Labor Market: Inequalities at Work

Robert L. Kaufman
Race, Gender, and the Labor Market: Inequalities at Work
ISBN: 978-1-58826-710-8
2010/277 pages/LC: 2009053719

"Kaufman's work serves as a vital building block for future studies."—Jeffrey E. Rosenthal, Monthly Labor Review

"There is much to learn from Kaufman's complex modeling strategy and almost endless results that will certainly strengthen theory, refine research, and inform policy directed at improving employment inequality."—Sheryl Skaggs, Gender & Society

"[This is] Kaufman's magnum opus. It provides broad and synthetic, yet fine-tuned and nuanced, explanations of the practices that create and perpetuate racial and sexual inequality in the American labor market."—ChangHwan Kim, Social Forces

"A valuable addition to the library of any scholar seeking to understand and explain the persistence of race and sex inequality in the contemporary labor market."—David J. Maume, Work and Occupations

"A highly compelling and important study.... Theoretically provocative and meticulously researched, it will make a lasting contribution to our understanding of work-based inequality."—Matt Huffman, UC-Irvine  

"Essential…. Kaufman’s big-picture analysis sheds much needed light on the 'how' of workplace inequality."—Julie Kmec, Washington State University


Women and minorities have entered higher-paying occupations, but their overall earnings still lag behind those of white men. Why? Looking nationwide at workers across all employment levels and occupations, Robert Kaufman examines the unexpected ways that prejudice and workplace discrimination continue to plague the labor market.

Kaufman probes the mechanisms by which race and sex groups are sorted into "appropriate" jobs, showing how the resulting segregation undercuts earnings. He also uses an innovative integration of race-sex queuing and segmented-market theories to show how economic and social contexts shape these processes. His authoritative analysis reveals how race, sex, stereotyping, and devaluation interact to create earnings disparities, shedding new light on a vicious cycle that continues to the leave women and minorities behind. 


Robert L. Kaufman is professor of sociology at Temple University.


  • Why Study Race and Gender Labor Market Inequality?
  • Perspectives on Segregation and Earnings Gaps.
  • Analyzing Labor Market Disparities.
  • The Segregation of Groups Across Labor Market Positions.
  • Stereotypical Work Conditions and Race-Sex Earnings Gaps.
  • Regional Variations in Labor Market Inequality.
  • Conclusion.