Steward, Astin Devine (2016-08). Racial Identity and its Impact on Job Applicants. Doctoral Dissertation. Thesis uri icon


  • Drawing from Social Dominance Theory and Prejudice Distribution Theory, the purpose of these three experimental studies was to examine how Whites evaluate racial minorities (African American and Latino) with a strong racial identity. In Study 1, participants evaluated applicants for an athletic director position. Relative to their weakly identified counterparts, applicants believed to possess a strong racial identity were rated as a poorer fit for the job. Results from Study 2, which was also set within the context of hiring an athletic director, show that participant social dominance orientation moderates the relationship between racial identity and subsequent evaluations. Study 3 explored the impact of racial identity on salary and job-related attributes for African American and Latina applicants in the fitness industry as well as gender biases of participants. Study 3 results revealed a relationship between rater gender, applicant race or racial identity and job-related attributes as well as suggested salary. Specifically, strongly identified Latina applicants were rated most negatively by male reviewers in comparison to weakly identified Latina and African American applicants. Interestingly, the inverse was found for female raters. These studies support and extend the current literature as well as highlight the unique way displays of racial identity impact minority applicants in sport and fitness contexts. These findings have both theoretical and practical implications for organizations and minority applicants. The author also discusses limitations and future directions.

publication date

  • August 2016