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Public SecretsRace and Colour in Colonial and Independent Jamaica$
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Henrice Altink

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781789620009

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781789620009.001.0001

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Race at Work

Race at Work

(p.21) Chapter One Race at Work
Public Secrets

Henrice Altink

Liverpool University Press

Making extensive use of census data, this chapter sets out changes over time in the race and colour profile of the labour market. It shows that dark-skinned Jamaicans made considerable advances, especially in the public sector, but that even long after independence they were still largely absent from some fields and in others rarely found at senior levels. It will be argued that the stratification of the labour market by colour was largely the result of race-neutral practices, such as educational qualifications and other hiring and promotion criteria; disadvantage accumulated over time and across racial domains; and government inaction, which was partly triggered by political partisanship and economic factors.

Keywords:   labour market, institutional discrimination, census, private and public sector

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