The Influence of Racial Discrimination and Class Position on Life Opportunities

Wilson connects modern racial issues to different periods of history He explains how race and racial oppression were created from the systems of production and the polity. These aspects of society eliminated “black competition” from white people, which was the ideology of any given time period relating to the uprising of industrial America in addition to its creation of race. Wilson takes a turn in his thesis and goes on about how industrialization actually created jobs for more people, and for black people, and that they were able to more readily access economic and political resources.

In turn, a wave of blacks emigrated from the south to the urban/ industrial north, creating segregated communities that began to mimic aspects of white class structure; all post World War 11. Since it appeared that blacks were rising in status, the concept of class arose as a more important determinant of life changes than the race for African American individuals, Racial discrimination and class position affect life chances, and it is the understanding of the interaction of the two structural conditions that explains our present situation of race.

Wilson refers to research by Sakamoto and Tzeng that conclude that in the 1940’s, the class was more important than race in determining When comparing the situations of African Americans in the past, Mason explains how modem- day life chances of blacks are no longer primarily determined by race. Wilson refers to research by Sakamoto and Tzeng that conclude that in the 1940‘s, the racial disadvantage was greater than the impact of the amount of education obtained by black men.

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Looking fifty years later, class was more important than race in determining which job black men were more likely to get during the modern industrial period in 1990. In addition, the structure of the younger black class reflects significant gender differences among the race. The overcoming of black women in employment rates, average income, and education level compared to males has huge implications for the social organization of the black community, representing a decreasing proportion of black men in higher socioeconomic positions.

Thus meaning, that gender is another significant social construction that plays a heavier role on life-chances of blacks compared to our preconceived notion that race is the main determinant of life»chance, Waldinger»Bailey’s thesis statement is the idea that discrimination against blacks upon hiring in the workforce persists even though skill and education levels are not key factors in employment. Waldinger and Bailey use manufacturing and construction—related jobs as examples for how barriers exist for blacks when there is little relationship to school-required skills. Excluding blacks from construction jobs that are considered more skillful has nothing to do with lack of skill, rather the whites undermining the power and agenda of the blacks. Wilson’s explains how blacks took advantage of the opportunity to join industrial ttnions and the federal government’s protective union legislation nullified the ability for management to replace high- paid white workers with lower-paid black workers.

Interracial conflict regarding race arose due to competition from public education, local polity, and housing, rather than from occupation. In turn, racial struggles for power have shifted from the extraction and harvesting of natural products of the economic sector to the sociopolitical order. Elements of the sociopolitical order affect life chances of African Americans as a whole, and their capability to move upward in social status is not nearly as achievable as it is for whites and any other race that is deemed competition for blacks. Regarding the workers union, Waldinger-Bailey discusses how white workers continue to oppose black employment in the construction field. Processes that have prevented blacks from achieving equality in the industry are informational hiring/ training practices and the political power of unions in construction. Since the union is such a powerful influence and is dominated by whites, informal social networks for recruitment is difficult for newcomers such as blacks to be accepted in the construction field.

Referencing Wilson‘s piece, 1 think that unions used to play an important role to the significance of race because unions were established to speak against change in a workforce; this change being the integration of races. Worker unions during the industrialization period of the United States were an important and often underrepresented part of history that demonstrated clear discrimination against blacks solely based on the fact that they have lower status, and nothing else. I am a bit stuck on forming my opinion on the importance of modern-day unions, however I lean to say that we evidently continue to discriminate blacks in the workforce based off their race; because in this day, race still implies your wealth and what you bring to the table.

Throughout reading these articles, I pondered a lot about how my African American friend went to an almost all-white high school, and how she was praised for her numerous acceptances into universities all across me United States. The white people of the class were clearly close»minded, and questioned the acceptances, saying that she “only got the opportunity to go to college so that the university would meet a minority quota,” or “she only got into college and got scholarships because she was black.” Yes, my friend’s situation can be looked at from an additive approach, she is a mixed»race female of black and Latina race and she is a young woman. She experiences a multitude of oppressions, and because of this, she is disadvantaged and receives scholarships from schools because of her disadvantage and because of her high-achieving grades in high school. I use this rather extensive example to explain how although she has just as much, if not more, credentials as any of her other classmates- she is still discriminated against, just like the black workers being integrated into construction jobs, and it has nothing to do with her level of skill, it has to do with her race.

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The Influence of Racial Discrimination and Class Position on Life Opportunities. (2022, Nov 14). Retrieved from

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