Racism: it's a thing

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Racism: it's a thing

Postby Spambot5546 » Thu Dec 11, 2014 10:37 pm UTC

Shocker, I know.

So I work in software development. I had a meeting today with my rep from the staffing company I've been using to find work since I finished college. I asked him if there were other specialties besides java where I would be able to find work as easily, in case I wanted to cross train a bit. He hemmed and hawed about a few technologies then remarked "I hate to say it, but your Java experience and a name like 'John' opens a lot of doors."

Damn, dude. :shock:
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Re: Racism: it's a thing

Postby Sprocket » Thu Dec 11, 2014 11:12 pm UTC

"Man if your name had been Amir, we wouldn't have invited you to this interview, but now that you're here, you're seem alright for a guy whose name should be Amir."
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Re: Racism: it's a thing

Postby LaSargenta » Fri Dec 12, 2014 1:56 pm UTC

Urg.

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Re: Racism: it's a thing

Postby Izawwlgood » Fri Dec 12, 2014 1:59 pm UTC

Where do you live? Frankly, I don't find that remotely surprising. Disappointing, but not surprising. I've heard of people putting American names first on papers, even if the Asian or Indian postdoc/grad student did more work, simply to improve visibility.
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Re: Racism: it's a thing

Postby natraj » Fri Dec 12, 2014 11:53 pm UTC

do you have statistical proof that this was A Racism or are you just unfairly profiling the rep from the staffing company based on this anecdote
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Re: Racism: it's a thing

Postby Spambot5546 » Sat Dec 13, 2014 4:53 pm UTC

I'm not profiling the rep, I'm quoting the rep. If this was the first instance I'd ever heard of white privilege I would of course be skeptical. It's not, though. So the fact that a guy who makes a living finding employment for people has noticed that people with anglo names get hired more, while not useful academically, is still a decent indicator of the culture we're looking at.

Edit:
Izawwlgood wrote:Where do you live? Frankly, I don't find that remotely surprising. Disappointing, but not surprising. I've heard of people putting American names first on papers, even if the Asian or Indian postdoc/grad student did more work, simply to improve visibility.

I live in the midwestern US. Y'know, the region that brought us the KKK.


Fun anecdote, though: Where I work is almost exclusively Indian guys. Just me and a guy named Frank were the only white folks until very recently. In the three or four months I've worked here the boss has called me by the other white guy's name probably a half dozen times. I've never been particularly offended by this, of course, and that line from my recruiter just confirmed how much of a non-issue that little bit of racism is.
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Re: Racism: it's a thing

Postby PAstrychef » Wed Dec 17, 2014 1:57 am UTC

Given the number of studies of this very phenomenon that have been done over the last, oh, 40 years or so, this should not be a surprise to any one.
Change the name, gender or age on a single resume, send the various iterations to a single job possibility, watch who gets called for an interview. Use a gender-ambiguous name, watch who gets called back for a second interview.
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Re: Racism: it's a thing

Postby HungryHobo » Wed Dec 17, 2014 10:48 am UTC

PAstrychef wrote:Given the number of studies of this very phenomenon that have been done over the last, oh, 40 years or so, this should not be a surprise to any one.


Yep and not even just those things.

when those kinds of studies are repeated using party affiliation they get an even stronger effect. Wrong party? well your CV goes in the bin (possibly because there's no filter, nobody is consciously trying to not discriminate based on party.)

Protip: If you want a job in academia or a blue industry you don't want "young republicans" on your CV. If you're going for a job in finance or other red industry you don't want "young democrats"

Add to that, first names in the US have a strong party affiliation, "John" is actually quite good since it's close to a 50/50 one.

http://www.claritycampaigns.com/names/

(For example, of the 200,000 registered US voters named “Willie”, 81.8% are Democrats.)

Also they've repeated studies asking how people would feel about their children bringing home someone of another race vs someone of another party, turns out people have reeeally strong feelings about parties in the US.

http://pcl.stanford.edu/research/2014/i ... zation.pdf
http://www.people-press.org/2014/06/12/ ... onal-life/
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Re: Racism: it's a thing

Postby gmalivuk » Wed Dec 17, 2014 1:50 pm UTC

Party prejudice should be much stronger than racial prejudice, though, because party affiliation tends to tell you a lot more about what a person actually believes than race ever will. Plus, people actually choose their party affiliation and are usually more willing to change it than religion.

The attempt to tie it in with racism seems misguided at best.
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Re: Racism: it's a thing

Postby HungryHobo » Wed Dec 17, 2014 3:57 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:The attempt to tie it in with racism seems misguided at best.


misguided?
Are only things you disapprove of allowed to be associated with tribalism and racism somehow?

It would be wrong to say that it's as big a problem as racism since wealth is pretty evenly distributed across the 2 groups but it's ultimately the same switches in the human mind involved. Socially acceptable forms of tribalism are also interesting because people are more willing to admit to them or talk about them openly and can be important in some cases, you wouldn't want 10 democrats as your jury if you were a republican for example because they'll try you as a member of the hated outgroup.

Yes you choose your party but the party your parents, neighbours and friends are affiliated with is a massive predictor or your own, almost as much as with religion.
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Re: Racism: it's a thing

Postby Sprocket » Wed Dec 17, 2014 5:02 pm UTC

PAstrychef wrote:Given the number of studies of this very phenomenon that have been done over the last, oh, 40 years or so, this should not be a surprise to any one.
Change the name, gender or age on a single resume, send the various iterations to a single job possibility, watch who gets called for an interview. Use a gender-ambiguous name, watch who gets called back for a second interview.

A friend of mine was telling me about something he read or watched where a real guy whose first name was Kim applied to a bunch of either Engineering or CS jobs, and was getting no responses. Then he changed his resume so it read Mr. Kim LastName, and suddenly he started getting calls.
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Re: Racism: it's a thing

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Dec 17, 2014 5:44 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:Party prejudice should be much stronger than racial prejudice, though, because party affiliation tends to tell you a lot more about what a person actually believes than race ever will. Plus, people actually choose their party affiliation and are usually more willing to change it than religion.

The attempt to tie it in with racism seems misguided at best.


It's an example of name discrimination. Obviously it's not the same as racism, but I don't think HungryHobo's trying to say that. It's pretty clear "and here is more relevant information related to that".

And frankly, I think there's danger in either. Knowing someone's college political preference seems unlikely to be a strong way to identify career skills.

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Re: Racism: it's a thing

Postby gmalivuk » Wed Dec 17, 2014 7:10 pm UTC

Why would anyone who had since changed political beliefs list a college political club on their resume? Unless it was directly after college and they had no relevant experience apart from that, in which case it's less likely they've actually changed views.

Oops. I somehow misread the last sentence.
Last edited by gmalivuk on Wed Dec 17, 2014 7:53 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Racism: it's a thing

Postby HungryHobo » Wed Dec 17, 2014 7:37 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:Why would anyone who had since changed political beliefs list a college political club on their resume? Unless it was directly after college and they had no relevant experience apart from that, in which case it's less likely they've actually changed views.


.... I'm getting the impression that you may have utterly missed Tyn's point.

people often mention things they were involved in, like running or otherwise being involved in some extra curricular groups.

But even if they don't, as I mentioned, even your name can hint strongly at your party affiliation.
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Re: Racism: it's a thing

Postby strake » Wed Dec 17, 2014 7:40 pm UTC

HungryHobo wrote:It would be wrong to say that it's as big a problem as racism since wealth is pretty evenly distributed across the 2 groups but it's ultimately the same switches in the human mind involved. Socially acceptable forms of tribalism are also interesting because people are more willing to admit to them or talk about them openly and can be important in some cases, you wouldn't want 10 democrats as your jury if you were a republican for example because they'll try you as a member of the hated outgroup.


But critically, partisanship is a choice. Skin color ain't. Well, one can expose oneself to UV or bleach but that only goes so far.

HungryHobo wrote:Yes you choose your party but the party your parents, neighbours and friends are affiliated with is a massive predictor or your own, almost as much as with religion.


So? You can choose whether to follow the herd.
• I'm an irreligious child of Christian parents.
• I wouldn't want to work with a Nazi; I wouldn't care that all their friends are Nazis too.

HungryHobo wrote:But even if they don't, as I mentioned, even your name can hint strongly at your party affiliation.


No. It's a mere correlation.

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Re: Racism: it's a thing

Postby gmalivuk » Wed Dec 17, 2014 7:50 pm UTC

HungryHobo wrote:But even if they don't, as I mentioned, even your name can hint strongly at your party affiliation.
Yes, but I'm not talking about name discrimination, I'm talking about actual party affiliation. Which is the thing you talked about to start with before mentioning the name correlation.

Edit:
And yes, I did miss the point Tyn was making by somehow misreading his last sentence. However:
HungryHobo wrote:people often mention things they were involved in, like running or otherwise being involved in some extra curricular groups.
I still question the pointfulness of doing this for anything other than your very first job, unless it's directly relevant to the job you're applying for, in which case party affiliation is also likely relevant.
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Re: Racism: it's a thing

Postby HungryHobo » Wed Dec 17, 2014 7:59 pm UTC

strake wrote:No. It's a mere correlation.


...hence the words "strongly hint" rather than "utterly reveal"
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Re: Racism: it's a thing

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Dec 17, 2014 8:14 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
HungryHobo wrote:But even if they don't, as I mentioned, even your name can hint strongly at your party affiliation.
Yes, but I'm not talking about name discrimination, I'm talking about actual party affiliation. Which is the thing you talked about to start with before mentioning the name correlation.

Edit:
And yes, I did miss the point Tyn was making by somehow misreading his last sentence. However:
HungryHobo wrote:people often mention things they were involved in, like running or otherwise being involved in some extra curricular groups.
I still question the pointfulness of doing this for anything other than your very first job, unless it's directly relevant to the job you're applying for, in which case party affiliation is also likely relevant.


The very first job is an important one...and it's not uncommon to see those still listed for another job or two(I certainly haven't removed my PTK leadership role from mine). It can demonstrate leadership and organization skills, and even if you have another point which also supports that, showing a strong pattern of experience stretching back to college can make you look better than someone who doesn't have similar experience.

So, the inclusion can be job relevant in a non-partisan fashion. Now, sure, it'd be a little unusual to cite democratic experience if you're looking for a republican political job, but if you're an accountant or some such, the experience should be much more important. The fact that out-group biases are still a significant selector here, enough to outweigh the positive gains of the experience, should be concerning.

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Re: Racism: it's a thing

Postby strake » Wed Dec 17, 2014 8:56 pm UTC

HungryHobo wrote:
strake wrote:No. It's a mere correlation.


...hence the words "strongly hint" rather than "utterly reveal"


I perhaps misread you. The problem is that people try to infer partisanship from a name and make choices on that basis, i.e. prejudice. If that's what you meant, yes ☺

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Re: Racism: it's a thing

Postby HungryHobo » Wed Dec 17, 2014 9:07 pm UTC

strake wrote:I perhaps misread you. The problem is that people try to infer partisanship from a name and make choices on that basis, i.e. prejudice. If that's what you meant, yes ☺


I don't think people try it just kinda happens... If you go to a blue-tribe community and ask "what as the most douchebag names" the top 10 are basically the names which happen to be most republican. I think it's fascinating that people who don't even realise that names are party biased do this.

They just know that they hate people with that name when they hear a name that happens to be associated with an outgroup and that they don't tend to like people with that name.

http://slatestarcodex.com/2014/11/17/re ... ouchebags/

And it's a safe bet that if you do the same on a very republican site you'll get a list of very democrat leaning names like Erica,Naomi and Ethan as the most horrible-people names.
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Re: Racism: it's a thing

Postby Sprocket » Wed Dec 17, 2014 9:27 pm UTC

http://www.germantownnow.com/blogs/comm ... 06741.html

Why on earth are people born ten years after me still being named Sarah?
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Re: Racism: it's a thing

Postby teelo » Thu Dec 18, 2014 4:06 pm UTC

Racism applying for a job: discrimination based on the fact that you were second on the race to apply for the job.

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Re: Racism: it's a thing

Postby mathmannix » Fri Dec 19, 2014 4:25 pm UTC

HungryHobo wrote:Add to that, first names in the US have a strong party affiliation, "John" is actually quite good since it's close to a 50/50 one.

http://www.claritycampaigns.com/names/

(For example, of the 200,000 registered US voters named “Willie”, 81.8% are Democrats.)

This is a fun website. Did you know that 7/8 of all Roosevelts are Democrats? That's the strongest one I've found... another fun game is trying to find names with the least voters (but still in their database, unlike say Zoroaster). The best I have done so far is "Jo-Jo", which only has 12...
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Re: Racism: it's a thing

Postby Azrael » Mon Dec 22, 2014 8:23 pm UTC

Sprocket wrote:Why on earth are people born ten years after me still being named Sarah?


Don't worry, in another few years they won't be.

Also, while we're playing about with links to fun name databases, http://www.babynamewizard.com/voyager is a pretty amusing way to parse the popularity of names in the US. That it's ostensibly for naming your spawn is unfortunate.

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Re: Racism: it's a thing

Postby mathmannix » Mon Dec 22, 2014 10:18 pm UTC

mathmannix wrote:The best I have done so far is "Jo-Jo", which only has 12...


Another oddity are the precise percentages... of the 12 Jo-Jo's, 49.1% are Republican. That is, there are somewhere between exactly 5.886 and 5.898 Republican Jo-Jos. :shock:
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Re: Racism: it's a thing

Postby azule » Mon Dec 22, 2014 10:30 pm UTC

My name can be represented in two languages. I've been listing it under the legal, "unAmerican" version. Could this racism thing be working against me? I guess it's time to trick employers into thinking I'm white.

HungryHobo wrote:Yes you choose your party but the party your parents, neighbours and friends are affiliated with is a massive predictor or your own, almost as much as with religion.
I think the big difference with religion is that people are likely to go back to their religion after they're period of rebellion. But people tend to become more conservative politically as they age.

Yeah, nothing to do with race, besides eventually settling down with someone of your own race. Maybe statistics show this to be untrue now.

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