In 2004, Marianne Bertrand and Sendhil Mullainathan conducted an experiment in which they sent fake resumes out to hundreds of real open job postings. These resumes were identical except for one control—half the fictional applicants’ names were “African American-sounding” and half were “White-sounding.” They found that the white names got 50 percent more callbacks for interviews across all industries and job types, suggesting the presence of racial bias or subconscious attitude formation and stereotyping. Over a decade later, employment discrimination, police bias toward certain groups, and discriminatory housing or financial policies are still at the forefront of current affairs.
For this Discussion, you examine an experience with racial or ethnic bias that you or someone you know has had. As a human and social services professional, drawing awareness to these experiences and your reactions to them may help you begin the process of bringing ethical decision-making sensibilities to culturally or racially sensitive issues, a topic you continue to explore throughout the course.
- Review this week’s readings, focusing on any implications of your lived experiences with racial or ethnic bias toward clients in your professional area of interest.
- Select a personal experience from your community or workplace related to racial or ethnic bias that you or someone you know has had.
- Reflect on how you handled the situation you selected and whether you would address it differently if you could.
By Day 4
Post a description of the experience you selected. Next, explain how you addressed the bias at the time. Finally, now that you have had time to reflect and consider the situation, explain whether you would have addressed it differently. If so, how? If not, why?
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