Preliminary Thoughts on Identity and Segmentation in Primary Sector Labor Markets

This paper argues that a shift is occurring in the labor market structure leading to an increase in the use of social networks based on the criteria that were originally the locus of labor market segmentation in low income jobs: race, sex and ethnicity, but also age, disability and sexual orientation. It thus calls into question the presumption of the earlier literature on labor market segmentation that as one moved up the wage hierarchy, jobs were increasingly allocated through formal institutional structures on the basis of objective credentials, and that the adverse labor market outcomes of minority groups in low wage jobs were connected to excessive reliance upon social networks in the labor market.

Piore.M, Safford.S, Socio-Économie du Travail n°28 (Économies et Sociétés, tome XLI), juin 2007, p.925-940.

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