Navigating the criminal records complex : hiring and job seeking in the inland empire

dc.contributor.advisorVargas, João Helion Costa
dc.contributor.committeeMemberGordon, Edmund T
dc.contributor.committeeMemberWilson Gilmore, Ruth
dc.contributor.committeeMemberHale, Charles
dc.contributor.committeeMemberSpeed, Shannon
dc.creatorBurch, Melissa Lynn
dc.date.accessioned2024-05-22T01:49:09Z
dc.date.available2024-05-22T01:49:09Z
dc.date.issued2017-05
dc.date.submittedMay 2017
dc.date.updated2024-05-22T01:49:09Z
dc.description.abstractNavigating the Criminal Records Complex: Hiring and Job Seeking in the Inland Empire is an urban ethnography that seeks to shed light on the problem of employer reluctance to hire workers with criminal convictions by analyzing how criminal history is considered in the hiring process. Set in Southern California’s Inland Empire, the study examines the attitudes and practices of business owners and human resource professionals alongside the labor market experiences of job seekers with criminal records and the advocates who assist them. While a significant body of sociological literature documents the scope of employer aversion to hiring applicants with criminal records, less is known about how individual, cultural and structural factors intersect to shape employers’ decisions. Using the qualitative methods of extended participant observation and interviews, this research sets employers’ subjectivity (including values, beliefs and racial attitudes) and specific business concerns against the backdrop a political-economic climate characterized by regulation, risk-aversion, competition and litigation. Overall, the study furthers understanding of how gendered and classed racism gets reproduced as a socially structured reality through processes of criminalization. It interrogates the role of the state in legislating the exclusion of criminalized peoples and fueling a burgeoning, for-profit background screening industry. In so doing, this study reveals that despite its presentation as value-neutral, criminal records screening functions as a significant mechanism of racial and economic stratification.
dc.description.departmentAnthropology
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/pdf
dc.identifier.uri
dc.identifier.urihttps://hdl.handle.net/2152/125371
dc.identifier.urihttps://doi.org/10.26153/tsw/51962
dc.language.isoen
dc.subjectCriminal records
dc.subjectRace
dc.subjectEmployment
dc.subjectPrison
dc.subjectCriminalization
dc.titleNavigating the criminal records complex : hiring and job seeking in the inland empire
dc.typeThesis
dc.type.materialtext
thesis.degree.departmentAnthropology
thesis.degree.grantorThe University of Texas at Austin
thesis.degree.nameDoctor of Philosophy

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