The political economy of incorporation: Black sociologists in academia

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This study examines institutional variations in the recruitment of black sociologists in academia and in racial allocations of academic rank. It is designed to identify aspects of the academy that pose barriers to equal participation for black sociologists and to suggest institutional structures and environments that are most likely to equitably incorporate them. Drawing on a 1984 national survey of sociology departments (N=230), the study examines both the absolute and proportional representation of black sociologists at the departmental level, as well as issues of tokenism and equality in the assignment of academic rank among racially integrated departmental faculties. Results indicate that the factors that promote better black faculty representation do not always provide African-Americans with other black colleagues, with substantial numerical influence within the department, or with equality in academic rank. Those colleges and universities that are most likely to have black sociologists are large, have sizable black student populations, and are located in metropolitan areas or the South. Racial equality in academic rank is most closely associated with dependence on government revenues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)709-745
Number of pages37
JournalResearch in Higher Education
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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