Ya Xu

Document Type


First Faculty Advisor

McDonnell, Judith


Perceived Racial Discrimination; Labor Environment


Bryant University

Rights Management

All rights retained by Ya Xu and Bryant University


Almost 50 years after the signing of the 1968 Civil Rights Act, and over 150 years after the official end of slavery in the US, the labor market is still far from equal. Minorities, especially those who racially identify as black and Latino, still face higher unemployment rates, lower median salaries (Wilson, 2015), and higher difficulty in obtaining interview opportunities (Bertrand and Mullainathan, 2004). The overarching question for my Capstone is as follows: How does perceived racial discrimination affect a person in the labor environment1? To investigate this question, I conducted a survey for Bryant University alumni which asked the ways that these alumni have perceived racial discrimination occurring within the labor environment. The survey showed that for Latinos were the race with the greatest percentage of respondents perceiving racial discrimination occurring to themselves (42%). However, blacks were the race with the highest percentage of perceiving racial discrimination occurring to others (35%). I then used the results of the survey to formulate questions for semi-structured interviews which I conducted with current Bryant University students. Overall, the results show that although racial discrimination may not be as overt as it has been in the past, the consequences of racial discrimination still affect people of every race in the labor environment.