Can a single gesture really reduce ethnic discrimination in the housing market? In very specific situations, it does indeed appear so! In an article out now at the European Journal of Political Research, jointly with Daniel Auer, we combine a natural experiment with a controlled field experiment to show that after the controversial double-headed Eagle gesture by Granit Xhaka, Xherdan Shaqiri, and Stephan Lichtsteiner led to lower levels of discrimination in the Swiss housing market for at least 3 months — that’s when our observations end.
We discuss the enormous attention the gesture got, but also what made the situation so special: a discussion of double loyalties, immigrant integration, etc. in a positive context. While research has focused on the drivers of exclusion and discrimination, here we hope to contribute something that helps us understand how to counter these negative factors.
In this article, Eva Van Belle and I examine how widespread so-called CV or résumé Whitening is. We know from correspondence studies that there is persistent hiring discrimination against ethnic minority candidates. With this, they have clear incentives to modify their CV or résumé so that signals of minority status are hidden.
We know that students at an elite university state that they would consider résumé Whitening techniques, but to date there was no study enumerating the actual use of résumé Whitening. We added a series of questions to the Migration-Mobility Survey to obtain a representative sample of recent immigrants in Switzerland (N=7,659).
Around 9% of the immigrants used one or more of the résumé Whitening techniques we asked. This seems to be done in reaction to the experience or anticipation of ethnic discrimination, as we can show.
Our publication on hiring discrimination against Blacks in Switzerland is now properly published at JEMS. Using a correspondence test, we find the unfortunately usual pattern of discrimination in Switzerland, too.
Dr. Valentina Di Stasio is recruiting two PhD students who will join her team for the project TARGETS, funded by the European Research Council (ERC StG 2021), and starting in September 2022. The projects will be embedded within the ICS, the Interuniversity Center for Social Science Theory and Methodology, and are based at ERCOMER (European Research Centre on Migration and Ethnic Relations), Utrecht University.
TARGETS is a multi-disciplinary and multi-method project bringing together insights from sociology, socio-legal studies, organizational and social psychology, management and organization studies, with the aim to understand the conditions under which people are recognized as targets of discrimination (both in the workplace and in the courtroom), and the strategies that members of vulnerable groups adopt to avoid becoming targets.
You can find more detailed information on the two PhD projects at these links: