University of Pittsburgh
March 6, 2008

Princeton University Sociologist to Lecture at Pitt on Hiring Discrimination Issues


Sharon Blake


Cell: 412-277-6926

PITTSBURGH-Devah Pager, associate professor of sociology at Princeton University, will deliver a lecture from noon to 1:30 p.m. March 19 at the University of Pittsburgh, titled "Race at Work: Discrimination Against Black and Latino Job Seekers." The talk, to take place at 2017 Cathedral of Learning, 4200 Fifth Ave., Oakland, is part of the Reed Smith Spring 2008 Speaker Series at Pitt's Center on Race and Social Problems (CRSP), part of the School of Social Work.

The event is free and open to the public. Lunch will be provided and registration is not required. For more information, call 412-624-7382 or visit

Pager's research centers on the discrimination found in low-wage labor markets. She investigates the issue by hiring young men-who differ by race, ethnicity, or criminal background-to pose as job applicants, presenting identical qualifications to employers for real entry-level jobs. "My work shows substantial evidence of hiring discrimination, with Black men receiving call-backs or job offers at only half the rate of equally qualified Whites," she says. "In fact, a young Black man with a clean record does no better in his search for low-wage work than a White man with a felony conviction." Pager's other research focuses on the criminal justice system. She has found that ex-offenders are about one-half to one-third as likely to be considered by employers relative to equally qualified men with no criminal background.

Pager is the author of "Marked: Race, Crime, and Finding Work in an Era of Mass Incarceration" (University of Chicago Press, 2007). She coauthored a 2006 report for the 50th Anniversary of the New York City Commission on Human Rights, titled "Race at Work: Realities of Race and Criminal Record in the New York City Job Market."

Pager recently spent a year in Paris on a Fulbright grant studying changes in crime policy and its relationship to patterns of immigration and ethnic tension in contemporary France. She holds master's degrees in sociology from Stanford University and the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and a doctorate in sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.