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Roman Abramov 1
  • 1 National Research University Higher School of Economics, 20 Myasnitskaya Str., Moscow, 101000, Russian Federation

Cognitive Skills and Discrimination in the Labor Market: A Commentary on Adolescent Cognitive Skills, Attitudinal/Behavioral Traits and Career Wages by M. Hall and G. Farkas

2013. No. 3. P. 59–64 [issue contents]

Roman Abramov, Ph.D. in Sociology, Associate Professor in the Analysis of Social Institutions Department, National Research University — Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russian Federation. Email: socioportal@yandex.ru 

The author demonstrates timeliness of the study performed by sociologists Matthew Hall and George Farkas and shows prospects for further investigation into the subject matter.

The author describes longitudinal surveys in general and the panel data analysis in particular. An insight is made into the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, which American sociologists used as a basis for their study. Perspectives of the problem are compared to some theories by Basil Bernstein, Pierre Bourdieu, and John Coleman that were not covered by Hall and Farkas.

Discussing the conclusions Hall and Farkas made on recruiting and evaluating job candidates from different racial and ethnic groups, the author refers to works of other researchers, finds parallels in some of the points, and reveals the critical distinctive features of Hall and Farkas’s theory of factors affecting career advancement. Employer expectation transformations in the US and Russia are also compared in the paper.

While analyzing the practical tips given by Hall and Farkas on reducing ethnic discrimination in the labor market (reducing differences between cognitive skills and attitudinal/behavioral traits of black/Latino and white students and developing correction education and professional orientation programs), the author admits that the measures proposed are potentially very helpful though insufficient to eliminate cultural factors of stereotyped attitudes towards different ethnic and racial groups engrained in collective consciousness. A high potential of exploring the issue in Russia is mentioned.

Citation: Abramov R. (2013) Kognitivnye sposobnosti i diskriminatsiya na rynke truda: kommentariy k stat'e M. Kholla i Dzh. Farkasa «Kognitivnye navyki i ustanovochnye/povedencheskie kharakteristiki v podrostkovom vozraste i uroven' zarabotnoy platy» [Cognitive Skills and Discrimination in the Labor Market: A Commentary on Adolescent Cognitive Skills, Attitudinal/Behavioral Traits and Career Wages by M. Hall and G. Farkas ]. Voprosy obrazovaniya / Educational Studies Moscow, no3, pp. 59-64.
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