Racism in Professional Settings: Forms of Address as Clues to Power Relations

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Since the Reagan administration, commitments to affirmative action programs have waned precipitously, inner cities have been decimated, high-paying manufacturing jobs have been replaced by high-tech service sector jobs, and a burgeoning Black middle class has developed; yet racial inequality persists. Although great strides have been made, people of color still confront racism in various arenas. One of the most difficult areas in which to identify subtle but pernicious forms of racism is professional office settings. This article explores how power relations are signified by subtle cultural rules. Specifically, it demonstrates how the cultural rules used by co-workers to address each other emerge as a way of articulating interethnic power relations in office settings. The research concludes that even the best efforts to diversify the workforce of an organization often perpetuate racial inequality because members of various ethnic groups are still under-represented in the top management positions. © 1995, Sage Publications. All rights reserved.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Baker, LD

Published Date

  • January 1, 1995

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 31 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 186 - 201

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1552-6879

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0021-8863

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1177/0021886395312006

Citation Source

  • Scopus