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Inventing equal opportunity / Frank Dobbin.

By: Dobbin, Frank [author.].
Material type: TextTextSeries: JSTOR eBooks.Publisher: Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, ©2009Description: 1 online resource (x, 310 pages) : illustrations.Content type: text Media type: computer Carrier type: online resourceISBN: 9781400830893; 1400830893.Subject(s): Discrimination in employment -- United States | Affirmative action programs -- United States | Diversity in the workplace -- United States | Sexual harassment of women -- United States | Civil rights -- United States | Personnel management -- United StatesAdditional physical formats: Print version:: Inventing equal opportunity.DDC classification: 331.13/30973 Online resources: Click here to view this ebook.
Contents:
Regulating discrimination: the paradox of a weak state -- Washington outlaws discrimination with a broad brush -- The end of Jim Crow: the personnel arsenal put to new purposes -- Washington means business: personnel experts fashion a system of compliance -- Fighting bias with bureaucracy -- The Reagan revolution and the rise of diversity management -- The feminization of HR and work-family programs -- Sexual harassment as employment discrimination -- How personnel defined equal opportunity.
Summary: "Equal opportunity in the workplace is thought to be the direct legacy of the civil rights and feminist movements and the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964. Yet, as Frank Dobbin demonstrates, corporate personnel experts--not Congress or the courts--were the ones who determined what equal opportunity meant in practice, designing changes in how employers hire, promote, and fire workers, and ultimately defining what discrimination is, and is not, in the American imagination. Dobbin shows how Congress and the courts merely endorsed programs devised by corporate personnel. He traces how the first measures were adopted by military contractors worried that the Kennedy administration would cancel their contracts if they didn't take "affirmative action" to end discrimination. These measures built on existing personnel programs, many designed to prevent bias against unionists. Dobbin follows the changes in the law as personnel experts invented one wave after another of equal opportunity programs. He examines how corporate personnel formalized hiring and promotion practices in the 1970s to eradicate bias by managers; how in the 1980s they answered Ronald Reagan's threat to end affirmative action by recasting their efforts as diversity-management programs; and how the growing presence of women in the newly named human resources profession has contributed to a focus on sexual harassment and work/life issues. Inventing Equal Opportunity reveals how the personnel profession devised--and ultimately transformed--our understanding of discrimination."--Provided by publisher.
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Item type Current location Call number URL Status Date due Barcode
Electronic Book UT Tyler Online
Online
HD4903.5.U58 D63 2009 (Browse shelf) https://ezproxy.uttyler.edu/login?url=http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2307/j.ctt7rkb6 Available ocn438771973

Regulating discrimination: the paradox of a weak state -- Washington outlaws discrimination with a broad brush -- The end of Jim Crow: the personnel arsenal put to new purposes -- Washington means business: personnel experts fashion a system of compliance -- Fighting bias with bureaucracy -- The Reagan revolution and the rise of diversity management -- The feminization of HR and work-family programs -- Sexual harassment as employment discrimination -- How personnel defined equal opportunity.

Includes bibliographical references and index.

"Equal opportunity in the workplace is thought to be the direct legacy of the civil rights and feminist movements and the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964. Yet, as Frank Dobbin demonstrates, corporate personnel experts--not Congress or the courts--were the ones who determined what equal opportunity meant in practice, designing changes in how employers hire, promote, and fire workers, and ultimately defining what discrimination is, and is not, in the American imagination. Dobbin shows how Congress and the courts merely endorsed programs devised by corporate personnel. He traces how the first measures were adopted by military contractors worried that the Kennedy administration would cancel their contracts if they didn't take "affirmative action" to end discrimination. These measures built on existing personnel programs, many designed to prevent bias against unionists. Dobbin follows the changes in the law as personnel experts invented one wave after another of equal opportunity programs. He examines how corporate personnel formalized hiring and promotion practices in the 1970s to eradicate bias by managers; how in the 1980s they answered Ronald Reagan's threat to end affirmative action by recasting their efforts as diversity-management programs; and how the growing presence of women in the newly named human resources profession has contributed to a focus on sexual harassment and work/life issues. Inventing Equal Opportunity reveals how the personnel profession devised--and ultimately transformed--our understanding of discrimination."--Provided by publisher.

Print version record.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

CHOICE Review

The confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor made clear that race remains a volatile, contentious issue in the US. Likewise, those hearings propagated the idea that "law" is some brooding, objective omnipresence accessible to suitably qualified judges. In this superb book, Dobbin (sociology, Harvard) explains the process through which white males have now become "victims" of a system intended to uplift disadvantaged groups; at the same time, it reveals the fallacy of judicial neutrality in civil rights cases. Dobbin's thesis is that the apparatus of affirmative action was constructed in important part by personnel specialists operating in an environment of uncertain legal principles. The book's opening chapter analyzes the "paradox of a weak state," where power is dispersed among different levels of government and legal authority. State and federal legislatures, along with judges and administrative officials, contributed to a decentralized regime in which legal consciousness evolved simultaneously with social movements. Subsequent chapters trace the influence over the past four decades of personnel experts who stepped in to define and institutionalize an employment bureaucracy aimed at creating equal workplace opportunity. Overall, Dobbin tells a clear, well-documented, fascinating story about workplace relations. Summing Up: Essential. Upper-division undergraduate through professional collections. R. L. Hogler Colorado State University

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Frank Dobbin is professor of sociology at Harvard University. His books include Forging Industrial Policy: The United States, Britain , and France in the Railway Age; The New Economic Sociology: A Reader (Princeton); and The Global Diffusion of Markets and Democracy .

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