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Title:Perceptions of the working world among African American participants in a low-income job training program
Author(s):Hutchinson, Paul Andrew
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Aber, Mark S.
Department / Program:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Educational Psychology
Sociology, Industrial and Labor Relations
Sociology, Ethnic and Racial Studies
Abstract:Twelve low-income, African American men were interviewed two to four times each regarding their experiences and perceptions of the working world. They were 18 to 21 year-old participants in the Job Training Partnership Act program in Champaign County. Nine had great difficulty finding and keeping jobs that were satisfactory in the local economy. Most had worked in fast food restaurants and other minimum-wage settings, but remained at the margins of the workforce, with little opportunity to advance to better jobs. Most had considered military service, by recruiters interviewed for the study described rejecting all high school drop outs and over 80% of high school graduates, so that almost all men in the study did not qualify. Periods of unemployment were common, and roughly half the sample apparently dealt drugs, either instead of, or in addition to, legal work. Those who dealt drugs were typically involved in street gangs at the same time. Most who worked illegally had grown up in public housing. About half the sample felt that racial dynamics played a significant role in their workforce participation. They described encountering discrimination, as well as frequently wondering about the racial motives of white coworkers. Several of the more successful men described negative comments from other Blacks, who accused them of "selling out," and they did not feel they deserved such comments. The more successful men in the sample were far more likely to emphasize racial issues than those men who were faring more poorly.
Issue Date:1995
Rights Information:Copyright 1995 Hutchinson, Paul Andrew
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9522121
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9522121

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