The Human Mind and Human Rights: A Call for an Integrative Study of the Mechanisms Generating Employment Discrimination Across Different Social Categories
J. Law & Ethics of Human Rights ( 2016)
24 Pages Posted: 11 Dec 2015
Date Written: December 7, 2015
The paper highlights how our knowledge about the ways the human mind works and people behave in social interactions may contribute to our understanding of employment discrimination and the effective ways of addressing it. It calls for a rigorous empirical study of the mechanisms generating different forms of discrimination against disadvantaged groups and the implications that follow for law and policy. The paper’s focus is theoretical, criticizing the current state of research on employment discrimination and calling for an integrative approach to the research in this area. In particular, the paper criticizes the lack of mutual communication among the various disciplines that study discrimination. Over-reliance on one type of methodology limits scholars' ability to address nuances of most discriminatory settings. We criticize the "one policy fits all" approach, in which discrimination against all types of disadvantaged groups is viewed as capturing all types of discrimination as well as the lack of truly accounting for the interplay between deliberative and automatic modes of reasoning. The paper suggests that adopting an integrative perspective would raise awareness among policy-makers and employers to variations in the effects of social categories on hiring, promotion, and firing practices.
Keywords: Employment Discrimination, Stereotypes, Empirical Legal Studies, Dual Reasoning, Differentiated Approach to Regulation
JEL Classification: J71
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation