Kevin Stainback and Donald Tomaskovic-Devey: Documenting Desegregation: Racial and Gender Segregation in Private-sector Employment since the Civil Rights Act. New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 2012. 378 pp. $45.00, paper or e-book.
Our knowledge of trends in labor force inequality comes primarily from studies of how individuals in different status categories are distributed across jobs or industries. As Stainback and Tomaskovic-Devey note, such studies can be misleading because they leave out the organizations in which people are employed and where decisions are made about who gets which jobs. In Documenting Desegregation, Stainback and Tomaskovic-Devey analyze data on more than 5 million private-sector establishments from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission EEO-1 Reports from 1966 to 2005 that enable them to sort out changes in employment practices from shifts in occupations, industries, and regions over different time periods. Their goal for the book, however, is even more ambitious because they also want to examine how both external influences (social, political, and economic) and internal constituencies affect decisions at the organizational level. They argue that to understand workforce inequality, one has to study work places, and to understand what has changed in terms of who has access to which jobs, one has to look over time at what employers are actually doing.