Are Social Networks Driving Unemployment for African Americans?

Are Social Networks Driving Unemployment for African Americans?Image credit: Bytemarks Flickr

It's a startling statistic when you think about it: Unemployment for African Americans, which is currently at 13 percent, is nearly double the national average. Long thought to be the result of racial discrimination, Nancy DiTomaso, a professor of management and global business at Rutgers Business School, believes otherwise, stating that such high unemployment rates for African Americans has, instead, to do with favoritism. 

In The Great Divide, the New York Times new series about inequality, she writes: "Such favoritism has a strong racial component. Through such seemingly innocuous networking, white Americans tend to help other whites, because social resources are concentrated among whites. If African-Americans are not part of the same networks, they will have a harder time finding decent jobs. The mechanism that reproduces inequality, in other words, may be inclusion more than exclusion."

How has social media played a role in all of this? Time and again Twitter has been highlighted for its stark divide across color lines, Black Twitter perhaps being its most notable subgroup. Could it be that social networks like Facebook and Tumblr, platforms meant to connect people, have in fact aided in creating greater disadvantages?

What do you think? Let us know in the comments section.

[via New York Times]

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