Research on Humanities and Social Sciences www.iiste.org ISSN (Paper)2224-5!! ISSN ("nline)2225-#4$4 ("nline) %ol.4& No.'4& 2#'4
Ethnic and Racial Disparities in Organizations
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'.epartment o, 1usiness dministration& ogi State 3niersit/& P..1. '##$. n/ig*a& ogi State 2.epartment o, 1usiness dministration& de6unle asin 3niersit/& 6ung*a& Nigeria 0 -mail o, the corresponding author7 se/iau8gmail.com
thnicit/ and race cannot *e easil/ ignored whilst discussing issues that shape modern societ/. 9he/ are intimatel/ lin6ed that is impossi*le to write one ade:uatel/ without discussing the other. 9his paper reiews selected theoretical perspecties on ethnicit/ and race. ;onse:uences o, ethnic and racial ine:ualities< most especiall/ in the 3nited States& and some cases ethnic ine:ualities in Nigeria were addressed. 9he paper concludes */ stating that in order to minimi=e ethnic and racial discrimination& it is important to encourage and educate the people to em*race diersit/ and multiculturalism& so that di,,erent ethnic and racial groups can create a uni:ue opportunit/ ,or indiiduals to e>perience and discuss the aspects o, racial?ethnic diersit/ in their lies. ,,irmatie action should also *e ta6en in order to address di,,erent races and ethic groups@ access to powers and priileges.
thnicit/& Race& iscrimination& "rgani=ations& ulticulturalism& iersit/
thnicit/ and race cannot *e easil/ ignored whilst discussing issues that shape modern societ/. 9he/ are intimatel/ lin6ed that is impossi*le to write one ade:uatel/ without discussing the other. Ahilst ethnicit/ is o,ten assumed to *e the cultural identit/ o, a group ,rom a nation state& race is assumed to *e *iological and?or cultural essentiali=ation o, a group hierarch/ o, superiorit/?in,eriorit/ related to their *iological constitution. It is assumed that& *ased on power relations& there e>ist raciali=ed ethnicities and ethnici=ed races. Bros,oguel (2##4) argues that racial?ethnic identit/ is one concept that cannot *e used as separate and autonomous categories. Notwithstanding the argument o, Bros,oguel& it is important to proide the distinctie clarities o, the two concepts& considering the ,act that authors use them in di,,erent wa/s. Su*se:uent sections o, this paper will reiew theoretical perspecties on these *ac6ground concepts.
Clarifying Ethnicity and Race
Crom a *iological perspectie& a race can *e de,ined as a group or population that shares a set o, genetic characteristics and ph/sical ,eatures. Crom the iewpoint o, arger (2##2)& the term race has *een applied *roadl/ to groups with similar ph/sical ,eatures-(the Ahite race)& religion - (the +ewish race)& or the entire human species- (the human race). Howeer& generations o, migration& intermarriage& and adaptations to di,,erent ph/sical enironments hae produced a mi>ture o, races. ;onse:uentl/& there is no such thing as a pure race. Social scientists reect the *iological notions o, race& instead ,aoring an approach that treats race as a social construct. 9o this e,,ect&
"mi and Ainant ('DD4) e>plain how race is a concept which signi,ies and s/m*oli=es social con,licts and interests */ re,erring to di,,erent t/pes o, human *odies. Instead o, loo6ing at race as something
the/ argued that we can imagine race as an
- a su*ectie social& political& and cultural construct. ccording to the authors& E9he meaning o, race is de,ined and contested throughout the societ/& in *oth collectie action and personal practice. In the process& racial categories themseles are ,ormed& trans,ormed& destro/ed& and re,ormed@ ("mi and Ainant& 'DD472'). 9he/ ,urther argue that& E9he presence o, a s/stem o, racial meaning and stereot/pes& o, racial ideolog/& seems to *e a permanent ,eature o, 3.S. culture@ ('DD47!F). thnicit/ on the other hand is iewed as a sense o, solidarit/ shared *etween people -(usuall/ related through real or ,ictie 6inship)& who see themseles as distinct and di,,erent ,rom others. (ller& 'DD). reasona*le oeriew o, the histor/ and meaning o, the concept o,
was noted in ;ornell and HartmannGs *oo6 thnicit/ and Race 9he term& ethnicit/ itsel, is relatiel/ recent. 1e,ore Aorld Aar II& the term& tri*e was the term o, choice ,or pre-modern societies and race ,or modern societies (+en6ins& 2##'). ue to the close lin6 *etween the term race and Na=i ideolog/& the term ethnicit/ graduall/ replaced race within *oth the nglo-merican tradition and the uropean tradition. (;ornell Hartmann& 2##!). Bien the ,oregoing& perspecties on ethnicit/ are complicated through the ariet/ o, related terms that is used to denote similar phenomena& such as race& tri*e& and nation and minorit/ group (inger& 'DD4). Some scholars use these terms interchangea*l/& while others treat them as unrelated concepts. In spite o, the ,act that the concepts are *eing used interchangea*l/& the/ are distinct concepts. Pierre an den 1erghe in Smolina (2##F) descri*es race as a special mar6er o, ethnicit/ that uses *iological characteristics as an ethnic mar6er. Ahile the relationship *etween the two concepts is more comple> than that& his generali=ation points in the right direction.