Donald Tomaskovic-Devey

Donald Tomaskovic-Devey
University of Massachusetts Amherst | UMass Amherst · Department of Sociology

Ph.D. Sociology, Boston University

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131
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Introduction

Publications

Publications (131)
Article
In this article, we examine wage negotiations as a specific instance of claims-making, predicting that the capacity to make a claim is first a function of the position, rather than the person, and that lower-status actors—women, migrants, fixed-term, part-time, and unskilled workers—are all more likely to be in positions where negotiation is not po...
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This study examines how workplace technological innovation is associated with individual-level employment turnover. We advance the literature by studying how the impact of technology differs for Dutch native workers and workers with non-Western immigrant backgrounds. Furthermore, we examine the disparate impacts of organizational context, as indexe...
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We conceptualize within-organization job mobility as a position-taking process, arguing that the structure and outcome of claims over positions are characteristics of organizational inequality regimes. Drawing on data from 10 distribution centers from a large U.S. firm, we examine gendered job mobility as the observed network of workers moving amon...
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We develop an explicitly organizational and relational approach to examine the problem of police violence, focusing empirically on prominent policy recommendations to increase officer demographic diversity, raise educational requirements for new officers, and implement community policing strategies. We first review prior research on these proposals...
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Germany has experienced sharply rising earnings inequalities, both between and within workplaces. Working from prior literature on rising employment dualization and the fissuring of workplaces into high and low wage employers, we explore a set of organizational explanations for rising between and within workplace inequality focusing on the role of...
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Significance Understanding the causes of rising inequality is of concern in many countries. Using administrative data, we find that the share of inequality that is between workplaces is growing in 12 of 14 countries examined, and in no country has it fallen. Countries with declining employment protections see growth in both between- and within-work...
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Occupations have long been held by sociologists, from the older status attainment tradition to the more recent micro-class tradition, to be at the center of stratification writ large. Occupations are specifically argued to be central to shaping wages. Indeed, this has been understood as the comparative advantage of sociology relative to economics i...
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This chapter is an introduction to relational inequality theory (RIT). In RIT resources are generated and pool in organizations. Actors with legitimated claims gain access to those resources. Some people and potential trading partners are denied access to organizational resources through processes of social closure. Others appropriate organizationa...
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This book introduces relational inequality theory (RIT). RIT builds on a foundation of social relationships, organizations, and the intersectional complexity and fluidity that characterize social life. The argument is organized around three generic inequality-generating mechanisms—exploitation, social closure, and claims-making. The actual levels a...
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Relational claims-making is a two-step process and the proximate causal mechanism generating inequalities. The process is initiated by a claim on organizational resources and completed when that claim is endorsed or rejected by powerful actors. The ability to make a claim and its legitimacy reflect the social relations of status and power of the ac...
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Relational inequality theory (RIT) is summarized, and its implications for social science practice, data collection, and causal attributions are outlined. To advance equality and justice agendas RIT also implies a series of global goals including moving from tribalism to universalism, from hierarchy to citizenship rights, and from markets to human...
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Product markets are organized through social relations of power and networks of mutual exchange. Powerful firms exert control over prices and contracts. Increasingly they are also adjusting their organizational boundaries, as well as the basic legal and regulatory environment, to favor their or their network’s market power. Firms desire to avoid co...
Book
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Relational Inequalities focuses on the organizational production of categorical inequalities, in the context of the intersectional complexity and institutional fluidity that characterize social life. Three generic inequality-generating mechanisms—exploitation, social closure, and claims-making—distribute organizational resources, rewards, and respe...
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Exploitation is a relationship in which one party uses power to gain at the expense of another. Exploitation happens through a claims-making process. Legal and cultural institutions steer which groups are exploited and block or facilitate exploitation. Exploitation can be naked and open for all to see; more often exploitation is institutionalized,...
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Social closure is a process through which some groups, implicitly or explicitly, draw categorical boundaries around themselves and others to monopolize resources. Social closure has two faces: opportunity-hoarding for actors’ categorical in-group and exclusion of the out-group. We explore closure case studies around criminal records, occupational l...
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This chapter advocates the development of comparative organizational research designs as the empirical basis for studying both the generic and contingent processes that generate inequality. After explaining where past quantitative and qualitative researchers have gone wrong, it goes on to examine and promote contemporary comparative organizational...
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This chapter describes organizations as inequality regimes. Regimes are comprised of the resources available for distribution; the task-, class-, and status-based social relations within organizations; formal and informal practices used to accomplish goals and tasks; and internal cultural models of people, work, and inequality, often adapted from t...
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The study of temporal dynamics is essential to the advance of social science. In the study of inequality, preliminary to explaining patterns in gaps between groups is the prior task of detecting those patterns. Developing a multiple latent trajectory strategy, this paper proposes an inductive approach to the detection of inequality trends. Investig...
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We conceptualize immigrant incorporation as a categorically driven process and contrast the bright distinctions between first-generation immigrants and natives, with more blurry second-generation contrasts. We analyze linked employeremployee data of a sample of 5,097 employees in 97 large German organizations and focus on first- and second-generati...
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Donald Tomaskovic-Devey on Rights on Trial.
Article
List of authors: Donald Tomaskovic-Devey with Nina Bandelj, Irene Boeckmann, István Boza, David Cort, Dustin Avent-Holt, Olivier Godechot, Gergely Hajdu, Martin Hällsten, Lasse Folke Henriksen, Andrea Hense, Are-Skeie Hermansen, Joon Han, Feng Hou, Jiwook Jung, Aleksandra Kanjuo-Mrčela, Joseph King, Naomi Kodama, Alena Krizkova, Zoltán Lippényi, Si...
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Objectives Drawing on the racial threat and intergroup contact literatures, we explore whether (1) a school’s racial or ethnic context increases school suspensions for Black, Hispanic, and White students; (2) intergroup contact among school board members reduces school suspensions for Black, Hispanic, and White students; and (3) a school’s racial o...
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Using a unique sample of 5,022 workers in 94 large German workplaces, the authors explore whether and how women’s access to higher level positions, firms’ human resources practices, and workers’ qualification levels are associated with gender differences in earnings. First, they find that having more women in management reduces the gender earnings...
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We gratefully acknowledge a grant from the Theisen Foundation to support a developmental conference tied to this special issue held at the University of Bielefeld in the spring of 2015 and hosted by Stefan Liebig, Martin Diewald and the SFB882 Project “From Heterogeneities to Inequalities” at the University of Bielefeld.
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After multiple decades stumbling in the status attainment wilderness, the sociological study of inequality is now cultivating a new garden: the workplace generation of inequalities. While our theories have long focused on contextually embedded social relations - often in production - as generating inequality, our methods have lagged, focusing inste...
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The authors propose a strategy for observing and explaining workplace variance in categorically linked inequalities. Using Swedish economy-wide linked employer-employee panel data, the authors examine variation in workplace wage inequalities between native Swedes and non-Western immigrants. Consistent with relational inequality theory, the authors’...
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We explore the consequences of increased financial investment by non-financial firms, finding consistent evidence that financialization in the non-finance sector reduced economic growth in that sector. Employing an expanded conceptualization of value added which identifies internal (capital, labour) and external (creditors, government, charities) s...
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One of the central projects of neoliberalism has been the financialization of the global economy. Financialization refers to both the rising political and economic power of financial service firms and the growing importance of financial, rather than production, strategies in the rest of the economy. In the US case at least, financialization also ac...
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In this article, I outline a dynamic, relational theory of workplace inequalities. I begin with the basic model offered by Charles Tilly in Durable Inequality that categorical distinctions, such as gender or education, are mapped, exaggerated, and naturalized within organizational divisions of labor. This argument is attractive in the generality an...
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Focusing on U.S. nonfinance industries, we examine the connection between financialization and rising income inequality. We argue that the increasing reliance on earnings realized through financial channels decoupled the generation of surplus from production, strengthening owners' and elite workers' negotiating power relative to other workers. The...
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Using data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics we explore the relationship between current and early maternal occupational complexity and preadolescent children’s academic achievement in mathematics and reading. We measure white-collar occupational complexity with an index that incorporates task complexity, authority, and autonomy. Blue-collar...
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Most research on earnings adopts economist's human capital model. In doing so, social scientists, explicitly or implicitly, cede primacy to the labor supply and demand mechanisms of neoclassical economics. In contrast we develop a model that treats actors' claims as the central mechanism generating inequalities. In this model earnings are most prox...
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Purpose-I suggest that we conceptualize labor markets as observable social networks, in which workplaces are the nodes and people moving between workplaces are the edges. The movement of people delivers the actionable information as to what the supply, demand, and going wage for labor might be. Labor market networks are hypothesized to be quite thi...
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In the United States Black citizens are more residentially segregated from Whites than other racial and/or ethnic group. Prior studies have found that these patterns of segregation result in part from feelings of resentment and racial stereotypes that Whites hold toward Blacks. In this study, we further explore this idea by assessing the relevance...
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We examine the relational model of inequality using samples of employer-employee matched data from manufacturing plants in the United States and Japan. We argue that gender is a salient status characteristic in both the United States and Japan, but because of differences in gender politics, wage inequality will vary more across U.S. workplaces than...
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The goal of this study is to examine whether women in the highest levels of firms’ management ranks help to reduce barriers to women’s advancement in the workplace. Using a panel of more than twenty thousand firms during 1990 to 2003 from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the authors explore the influence of women in top management...
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Enacted nearly 50 years ago, the Civil Rights Act codified a new vision for American society by formally ending segregation and banning race and gender discrimination in the workplace. But how much change did the legislation actually produce? As employers responded to the law, did new and more subtle forms of inequality emerge in the workplace? In...
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Focusing on U.S. non-finance industries, we examine the connection between the financialization of the US economy and rising income inequality. We argue that the increasing reliance by firms on earnings realized through financial channels decoupled the generation of surplus from production, strengthening owners' and elite workers' negotiating power...
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The 2008 collapse of the world financial system, while proximately linked to the housing bubble and risk laden mortgage backed securities, was a consequence of the financialization of the U.S. economy since the 1970s. This paper examines the institutional and income dynamics associated with financialization, advancing a sociological explanation of...
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Relational inequality theory looks to the relative power of actors to hoard job opportunities and exploit income opportunities to explain workplace wage distributions. Using matched Swedish employer-employee data on individual-workplace earnings for 2001 through 2007 we explore the utility of this model to explain variation across workplaces in wag...
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This article reviews recent theoretical and empirical research addressing organizations and workplace stratification, with an emphasis on the generic organizational mechanisms responsible for producing both stability and change in workplace inequality. We propose that an organizational approach to the study of stratification should examine status-...
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In this article, a relational model of inequality is applied to understand organizational wage inequality patterns. The authors begin by laying out a relational model arguing that wage distributions emerge from actors within workplaces negotiating and contesting who should receive greater or lesser rewards for their work. These claims typically inv...
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Abstract Do outside firms come to North Carolina or, more generally, to the rural South to take advantage of the low-wage unorganized local relations of production? Do they disrupt local labor market arrangements? We use data from a survey of North Carolina employees to examine labor market and job quality differences between local and outside firm...
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This article examines post–Civil Rights Act trends in private sector managerial representation for white men, white women, black men, and black women. We examine how three factors affect changing access to managerial positions: (1) industrial restructuring, (2) the process of bottom-up ascription, and (3) organizational characteristics. Accounting...
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This paper develops a theoretical and methodological application of Tilly's [Tilly, C. (1998). Durable inequality. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press] assertions that inequalities are inherently relational and categorical. We focus on the specific proposition that inequalities are exaggerated when categorical social distinctions are mappe...
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Research Summary Scholarly research has documented repeatedly that minority citizens are disproportionately stopped, searched, and arrested relative to their baseline populations. In recent years, policymakers have brought increased attention to this issue as law-enforcement agencies across the United States have faced allegations of racial profili...
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The emancipation of slaves is a century-and-a-half in America's past. Many would consider it ancient history. Even the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which challenged the de facto racial apartheid of the post-CivilWar period, are now well over 40 years old. But even in the face of such well-established laws, racial inequaliti...
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This article examines the influence of resource dependence and institutional processes on post-Civil Rights Act changes in private sector workplace segregation. We use data collected by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission from 1966 through 2000 to examine organizations embedded within their firm, industry, local labor market and federa...
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The authors argue that autonomy in the labor process results from the contingent interaction of worker power and organizational practices. Focusing on the “core jobs” (i.e., most central to the production process) in 618 randomly sampled workplaces in Australia, the authors find that the influences of technology and bureaucratization on autonomy ar...
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Numerous commentators have concluded that the Civil Rights Act was effective in promoting increased access to quality jobs for racial minorities. Many have worried as well that the pace of change has been too slow or stalled, particularly after 1980. Few have directly discussed under what conditions we might expect equal employment opportunity (EEO...
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Survey reports of police stops and driving behavior are a potential methodology for examining the magnitude and prevalence of the “Driving While Black” phenomena. However, estimates of the magnitude or correlates of racial disparity in police stops from self-reported survey data are potentially compromised if the accuracy of self-reports of police...
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Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act made employment discrimination and segregation on the basis of race, ethnicity, or sex illegal in the United States. Previous research based on analyses of aggregate national trends in occupational segregation suggests that sex and race/ethnic employment segregation has declined in the United States since the...
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We estimate the degree of racial disparity in police vehicular stops separately for local and state police in North Carolina in the year 2000. We introduce four mechanisms that might produce racial disparities in police stops—racial profiling, race sensitive police deployment, cognitive bias and stereotyping, and prejudice. We then model the relati...
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Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act made employment discrimination and segregation on the basis of race, ethnicity, or sex illegal in the United States. Previous research based on analyses of aggregate national trends in occupational segregation suggests that sex and race/ethnic employment segregation has declined in the United States since the...
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Full-text available
Students living in inner city and rural areas of the United States exhibit lower educational achievement and a higher likelihood of dropping out of high school than do their suburban counterparts. Educational research and policy has tended to neglect these inequalities or, at best, focus on one type but not the other. In this article, we integrate...
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Social Forces 84.2 (2005) 1311-1312 Maria Charles and David B. Grusky (with substantial contributions from Kim Weeden, Mariko Chang, Joon Han and Jesper Sørensen) have provided the community of employment segregation scholars with a powerful review and extension of their sustained comparative and methodological work. This methodologically careful w...