How far have we come since the Civil Rights Act of 1964 outlawed job discrimination on the basis of race and sex? Not nearly far enough, says a new book analyzing changing workplaces from 1964 to 2005.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission opened their private-sector employer reports to sociologists Kevin Stainback and Donald Tomaskovic-Devey, who used the data in their book “Documenting Desegregation,” a sweeping look at the successes — and considerable failures — of the landmark legislation.
The authors found that while the Civil Rights Act of 1964 began to disrupt a system of obstacles for both women and African-Americans, it didn’t offer practical ways to renegotiate institutional practices in the workplace. Instead, it relied (and continues to rely) heavily on lawsuits based on especially egregious cases of discrimination. As a result, progress has been uneven and often stalled all together.
As reported by economics professor Nancy Folbre for the New York Times: