Institutional Pathways to Racial Integration in Non-Dominant Organizations

Chen, Josh, Sociology - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Virginia
Reed, Isaac, AS-Sociology, University of Virginia
Vickerman, Milton, AS-Sociology, University of Virginia
Pendergrass, Sabrina, AS-Inst-Afri-Am & African Stud, University of Virginia

Even when racially diversified, American organizations remain dominated by whites. The color line regularly reasserts itself through racialized structures and social patterns. Many academics therefore argue that racial integration does not work. However, this argument has two limitations. Theoretically, the argument conflates integration with desegregation. Most diverse institutions are integrated in principle but desegregated in practice. Whereas desegregation dismantles racial barriers to entry, it leaves existing structures unchanged. Integration, by contrast, makes changes that facilitate the structural inclusion of people of color. Empirically, the majority of research is drawn from studies of predominantly white organizations. Theories of colorblind racism show how such organizations can be expected to sustain white hegemony. By contrast, I analyze two years worth of ethnographic, interview, and survey data from two organizations where whites are not dominant: a church in the inner city and a residential college at an elite university. Drawing on theories of race, social recognition, and organizational diversity, I present a model of integration which articulates how different institutional pathways result in different equality outcomes as measured through the inclusion of people of color.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
integration, diversity, race, racial, organization, institution, ethnography, church, college, pathway, vulnerability, tolerance, inclusion
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