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Political Economy of Race, Class and Gender - Book Report/Review Example

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Wage gaps between workers from different racial groups and between male and females remain existent in the job market. This paper discusses the political economy theories that…
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Political Economy of Race, Class and Gender
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Political Economy of Race, Class and Gender

Download file to see previous pages... The capitalists maximize their profits by minimizing employee wages (Albelda et al. 140). Workers can advocate for better wages if they unite through unions. According to Marxism, racism divides the working class. Capitalist tend to divide black and white workers which makes it difficult for workers to challenge for better wages due to disunity between blacks and whites. This disunity is caused by the white workers classifying themselves as whites, rather than employees making it difficult for them to act in collective class welfares with blacks. In this model, the wages depend on the worker’s bargaining power. The higher the bargaining powers the higher the wages which would result in lower profits. On the other hand, the lower the bargaining power the lower the wages and in turn higher profits. This scenario provides an economic foundation of disparate treatment of equally skilled white and black workers (Albelda et al. 144). It also explains why a white worker cannot be replaced by a black worker even if the latter is to be paid lower wages as discussed by Michael Reich’s Racial Inequality.
Labor markets segmentation theory. This theory clusters jobs into categories namely; secondary labor market, primary subordinate labor market and primary independent labor market. The secondary labor market is characterized with low wages and short job tenures. In primary subordinate labor market, most workers are union members and wages are considerably above minimum wage. Employees internalize work standards in the primary independent segment where credentials are a requirement for entry (Albelda et al. 147). The main foundation of this theory is the fact that workers cannot move from one market segment to another. Race and gender play a role in determining the labor market segment of workers. Lower wages for blacks can be attributed to concentration in the secondary market where earnings are low and lower representation in the primary labor market ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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