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The Functionality of Market-Based Discrimination


Darity, William A., Jr. (2001). The Functionality of Market-Based Discrimination. International Journal of Social Economics, 28(10/11/12), 980-986.


Advances a framework for understanding the mechanisms that maintain unearned or inherited advantage or privilege in a hierarchical world of unequal rewards and differential opportunity. Central in this framework is the presence of a dominant group and a subaltern group in an environment where there is rivalry over social rewards. A dominant group can seek to structure and control access to the credentials required for preferred positions to insure admission of their own and to keep out others. This could involve, for example, deprivation of subaltern group members of schooling, both in quantity and quality. In other words, the dominant group can take steps to influence the “premarket” characteristics of the members of the subaltern group to the disadvantage of the latter. The dominant group emphasizes the cultural, cognitive, or motivational deficiences of the subaltern group significantly by silently rendering them non‐competing, all the while denying any discrimination.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

International Journal of Social Economics


Darity, William A., Jr.