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The Jungle Revisited? Racial Realism in the Low-Skilled Sector

The Jungle Revisited? Racial Realism in the Low-Skilled Sector

Chapter:
(p.216) 5 The Jungle Revisited? Racial Realism in the Low-Skilled Sector
Source:
After Civil Rights
Author(s):
John D. Skrentny
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691159966.003.0005

This chapter focuses on low-skilled employment. It shows that employers have a racial hierarchy of preference and that they rely on word-of-mouth hiring to attract Latino and Asian workers with the racial and/or immigrant abilities they prize. The chapter gives special attention to meatpacking, a sector that has been racially remade in the past few decades. It then explores the ways Title VII of the Civil Rights Act should prevent this kind of hiring and shows how judges have created new opportunities for employers to use word-of-mouth hiring to build and maintain their Latino and Asian workforces without running afoul of the law. This chapter also shows how two other laws, the Immigration Reform and Control Act and the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, would seem to prohibit immigrant realism but have nonetheless failed.

Keywords:   low-skilled employment, Latino workers, Asian workers, meatpacking, racial hierarchy, immigrant realism

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