Is globalization making our world more equal, or less? Proponents of globalization argue that it is helping and that in a competitive world, no one can afford to discriminate except on the basis of skills. Opponents counter that globalization does nothing but provide a meritocratic patina on a consistently unequal distribution of opportunity. Yet, despite the often deafening volume of the debate, there is surprisingly little empirical work available on the extent to which the process of globalization over the past quarter century has had any effect on discrimination. Tackling this challenge, Discrimination in an Unequal World explores the relationship between discrimination and unequal outcomes in the appropriate geographical and historical context. Noting how each society tends to see its particular version of discrimination as universal and obvious, the editors expand their set of cases to include a broad variety of social relations and practices.
However, since methods differ and are often designed for particular national circumstances, they set the much more ambitious and practical goal of establishing a base with which different forms of discrimination across the world can be compared. Deriving from a broad array of methods, including statistical analyses, role-playing games, and audit studies, the book draws many important lessons on the new means by which the world creates social hierarchies, the democratization of inequality, and the disappearance of traditional categories.