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Tue Dec 30, 2014, 02:49 PM

Today in White Privilege: White criminals are more desirable than black non-criminals

The stark reality that Princeton sociologist Devah Pager documented-- that whites with a criminal record are more likely to get job interviews and offers than equally if not better qualified blacks without a criminal record--goes almost unnoticed.


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Reply Today in White Privilege: White criminals are more desirable than black non-criminals (Original post)
MrScorpio Dec 2014 OP
Igel Dec 2014 #1

Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Tue Dec 30, 2014, 03:51 PM

1. Better than decontextualized references.



Although my viewer is having a heck of a time displaying it properly.

Some of the charts also suggest that the disparity depends on location and that the context for the screenshot in the OP really is important. (It pays to note that in a lot of social science research they put up these hellacious charts and graphs, and you have to look at the text or the notes to find what they actually mean, if the results are meaningful. "Ooh, look, whites are at 36% and blacks are at 30%", which I think of as a pretty serious disparity, can easily reduce to "this difference is indistinguishable from chance and therefore meaningless." Error bars are such a standard thing in physical sciences that if you don't show them you look for the justification and if you don't find them you wince and quite possibly just set the paper aside. One recent paper I read actually pointed out that the error bars were smaller than the size of the data points.)

I found this marginally related paper of Pager's to be of interest because it doesn't just look at race-based filtering as some sort of undifferentiable, monolithic process, but as a resulting from a set of different factors (with enough math to plausibly separate out the various factors and account for variance). Even without the math--some of which I can follow, most of which I gloss over--it makes the point that there's more going on than simply saying, "Ah, look at your skin color." While the other papers based on NYC hiring try to control for various factors and seems to reduce things to skin color or felony conviction, you can't really overlook what most people try to discount or play up, that in America skin color is widely and often cross-racially perceived as indexical to other traits. Often apparently race-based responses are attributable to those indices. This is an evergreen finding in this kind of study--once you get past superficial categories, the meaningfulness of the categories themselves weakens considerably. (In other words, there's an effect of racism that most of these studies can't attribute to something else, but often the apparent racism is indirect and mediated by something other than race itself.)

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At least this isn't a people post.

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