The Hidden Biases That Shape Inequality

Take two equivalently qualified job candidates. One is known to be a parent. The other is not a parent.

With experimental scenarios like these, researchers have found substantial evidence of bias against mothers. In the studies of Shelley Correll, a professor of sociology at Stanford, childless women were roughly twice as likely to be called back or recommended for hire by an employer. And when childless women were recommended for a job, they were offered salaries approximately $11,000 higher.

Ms. Correll presented this research at the American Sociological Association’s annual meeting … as part of a panel spotlighting how inequality is perpetuated by things like interpersonal behaviors and local settings—what sociologists call “micro mechanisms.”

When sociologists talk about inequality—which they’re doing a lot at this inequality-themed event, from how inequality is changing to how it connects to social unrest and social media—they often discuss it through the macro prism of social structure. Much research on race, for example, analyzes where a minority group stands in relation to the dominant group when it comes to economic well being and legal rights. <Read more.>

Via Marc Parry, The Chronicle of Higher Ed.