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A Theory of Ethnic Antagonism: The Split Labor Market

Edna Bonacich
American Sociological Review
Vol. 37, No. 5 (Oct., 1972), pp. 547-559
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2093450
Page Count: 13
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A Theory of Ethnic Antagonism: The Split Labor Market
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Abstract

An important source of antagonism between ethnic groups is hypothesized to be a split labor market, i.e. one in which there is a large differential in price of labor for the same occupation. The price of labor is not a response to the race or ethnicity of those entering the labor market. A price differential results from differences in resources and motives which are often correlates of ethnicity. A split labor market produces a three-way conflict between business and the two labor groups, with business seeking to displace higher paid by cheaper labor. Ethnic antagonism can take two forms: exclusion movements and "caste" systems. Both are seen as victories for higher paid labor since they prevent undercutting.

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