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Author: Taylor, Norma Jean
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1. Taylor, Norma Jean
Occupational Choices of Black Women: A Longitudinal Study of Two Cohorts
Ph.D. Dissertation, Brandeis University, 1983
Cohort(s): Mature Women, Young Women
Publisher: UMI - University Microfilms, Bell and Howell Information and Learning
Keyword(s): Discrimination, Racial/Ethnic; Labor Force Participation; Occupational Attainment; Racial Differences

Black women, historically, have had a strong labor force attachment, even though they continue to be overrepresented in low-status and low-paying jobs. Because of their membership in two minorities, female and black, they are doubly victimized by sexual and racial discriminatory employment practices. Increased educational attainment, an expanding economy, and passage of antidiscrimination legislation, enabled blacks in general, and black women in particular, to improve their occupational status during the 60s and into the decade of the 1970s. The purpose of this study was to investigate the labor market experiences of two cohorts of black women with regard to their choice of occupation. The two groups, age 20-24 years in 1968, and age 30-34 years in 1967, were participants in the NLS and were followed over a ten-year period. In addition to the longitudinal aspect of the study, which identified "maturational" factors in the sample, the cross-sectional comparison of the two cohorts of the same age at two points in time permitted an assessment of the "secular" changes that have occurred between 1967 and 1978. By the conclusion of the study in 1977-78, both cohorts, in the areas of educational attainment, labor force participation, and occupational status displayed a bimodal pattern. About a quarter to forty percent of each group had achieved some college, showed strong labor force attachment, and improved occupational ranking. Another quartile or so had less than high school education, tended to be out of the labor force or remained in the lower ranked occupations. Despite these gains, the penetration of black women into the high-paying and high- status occupations, in significant proportions, continues to be an elusive dream.
Bibliography Citation
Taylor, Norma Jean. Occupational Choices of Black Women: A Longitudinal Study of Two Cohorts. Ph.D. Dissertation, Brandeis University, 1983.