Shopping while black is not a crime, but what happens when a store assumes the customer is always white?
ColorofChange.org has created a petition urging the NYPD to conduct a full investigation into over 50 arrests of young people, predominantly of color, outside of major department stores like Barney’s and Macy’s. Why hasn’t the “shop and frisk” trend gone out of style? Theories on race and racism, as well as the application of such ideas through social experiments, may offer some useful insights.
To study the gap between actions and rhetoric, audit studies reveal patterns of discrimination in the working world which shape employment opportunities for many low-wage workers of color.
- Pager, Devah and Lincoln Quillian. 2005. “Walking the Talk? What Employers Say Versus What They Do.” American Sociological Review. 70: 355-80.
- Pager, Devah, Bruce Western, Bart Bonikowski. 2009. “Discrimination in a Low-Wage Labor Market: A Field Experiment.” American Sociological Review. 79: 777-99.
Some theorists view racial attitudes through a conflict perspective that suggests racism and prejudice is rooted in different social positions between groups.
- Bobo, Lawrence. 1999. “Prejudice as Group Position: Microfoundations of a Sociological Approach to Racism and Race Relations.” Journal of Social Issues. 55(3): 445-72.