Color Minimization: The Theory and Practice of Addressing Race and Ethnicity at Work
38 Pages Posted: 7 Jan 2010
Date Written: Fall 2009
A growing literature, largely experimental, is finding that color‐blindness inhibits interactions in racially diverse dyads or groups, while color cognizance, its opposite, enhances them. But little data documents how workers on the ground make sense of these dueling discourses. We draw on an intensive study of child welfare workers to suggest that one response may be “color minimization”: a perspective that acknowledges, but then downplays, the importance of race and ethnicity. While the study takes place in a setting where race and ethnicity are more salient than in many areas of employment, our findings have implications for a wide range of workplaces.
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