Skip to main content
×
Home

THE (UN)INTENDED CONSEQUENCES OF BILINGUAL EMPLOYMENT POLICIES: Ethnoraciality and Labor Market Segmentation in Alameda County, CA

  • Abigail A. Sewell (a1)
Abstract
Abstract

Recent immigration and migration patterns have altered the ethnoracial composition of Alameda County, California. Sociopolitical leaders have struggled to adjust to these changes. In an effort to facilitate limited English speakers’ access to critical municipal services, Oakland—the largest municipal in Alameda County—passed an Equal Access to Services Ordinance on May 8, 2001, which is a groundbreaking language access legislation for the City of Oakland’s public administration. Using data from the 2000 Census and the 2005–2011 American Community Survey, this study examines the impact of bilingual employment policies on the ethnoracial segmentation of Alameda County workers. Logistic regression reveals that bilingual employment policies have reorganized both targeted (i.e., public contact) and non-targeted occupations within the local government public administration sector. Specifically, Spanish/Chinese bilingual speakers made gains in the public administration sector (the intended effects), while Black monolingual English speakers experienced losses (the unintended effects). The representation of Black monolingual English speakers in public contact jobs within the local government public administration sector declined by as much as 18 percentage points after the implementation of the nation’s first municipal-level bilingual employment policy. The impact of bilingual employment policies on the East Bay’s Black/Brown relations and African American’s hold on low-skilled jobs in service industries is examined.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      THE (UN)INTENDED CONSEQUENCES OF BILINGUAL EMPLOYMENT POLICIES
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      THE (UN)INTENDED CONSEQUENCES OF BILINGUAL EMPLOYMENT POLICIES
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      THE (UN)INTENDED CONSEQUENCES OF BILINGUAL EMPLOYMENT POLICIES
      Available formats
      ×
Copyright
Corresponding author
* Corresponding author: Dr. Abigail A. Sewell, Emory University, Department of Sociology, 204 Tarbutton Hall, 1555 Dickey Drive, Atlanta, GA 30322. E-mail: abigail.a.sewell@emory.edu
References
Hide All
Assembly Committee on Judiciary (2009). State and Local Government: Bilingual Services and Employment. Bill Analysis, AB 781. 15pp.
Baker Colin (2011). Foundations of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism. Clevedon, UK: Multilingual Matters Ltd.
Bailey Chauncey (2005). Westward Ho. The Crisis, May/June: 3337.
Benson Carolyn J. (2002) Real and Potential Benefits of Bilingual Programmes in Developing Countries. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 5(6): 303317.
Bobo Lawrence D., and Hutchings Vincent L. (1996). Perceptions of Racial Group Competition: Extending Blumer’s Theory of Group Position to a Multiracial Social Context. American Sociological Review, 61(6): 951972.
Buitrago Luz, and Rodriguez Michelle N. (2008). Equal Access Advocates Sue City of Oakland for Failing Non-English Speaking Residents. http://ocaeastbay.blogspot.com/2008/09/four-groups-sue-city-of-oakland-over.html> (accessed June 16, 2012).
California State Conference of the NAACP (2009). California NAACP Decries Bilingual Mandates That May Foster Employment Discrimination Against Qualified Job Seekers. Press Release May 9. <http://www.ca-naacp.org/BACKUP-STATIC/downloads/news-media-2009/pr-20090512-RLS-AB-781-On-Bilingual-Discrimination.pdf> (accessed June 16, 2012).
Census of Government Employment (2007). 2007 Local Government. <https://www.census.gov/govs/cog/historical_data_2007.html> (accessed November 17, 2016).
City Administrator’s Office-Equal Opportunity Programs Division (2006). Follow-up Report on the Status of the Implementation of the Equal Access Ordinance and Recommendations for Improving Language Access to City Services for Oakland’s Diverse Populations. Agenda Report, July 11.
City Administrator’s Office-Equal Opportunity Programs Division (2007). Action on a Follow-Up Report on the Status of the Implementation of the Equal Access Ordinance and Recommendations for Improving Language Access to City of Oakland Services. Agenda Report, June 12.
City of Oakland (2010). 2009 State of the City Report. February 22. Report released by the Office of the Mayor. <http://www2.oaklandnet.com/oakca1/groups/mayor/documents/pressrelease/dowd006203.pdf.> (accessed November 17, 2016).
City of Oakland (2011). City Council Action EAO Settlement. Verdict Letter, Feb 15.
Cummins Jim. (2000). Language, Power, and Pedagogy: Bilingual Children in the Crossfire. Clevedon, UK: Multilingual Matters Ltd.
Elinson Zusha (2010). As Mayor, Brown Remade Oakland’s Downtown and Himself. The New York Times, September 3, A17A.
Farley Reynolds, Allen Walter R., and the National Committee for Research on the Census (1987). The Color Line and the Quality of Life in America. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.
Grodsky Eric, and Pager Devah (2001). The Structure of Disadvantage: Individual and Occupational Determinants of the Black-White Wage Gap. American Sociological Review, 66(4): 542567.
Joseph Penelope (2006). The Black Power Movement: Rethinking the Civil Rights-Black Power Era. New York: Routledge.
Katz Michael B., Stern Mark J., and Fader Jamie J. (2005). The New African American Inequality. Journal of American History, 92(1): 75108.
Katz Michael B., and Stern Mark J. (2008). Beyond Discrimination: Understanding African American Inequality in the Twentieth-First Century. Departmental Papers, School of Social Policy and Practice. January 1. <http://repository.upenn.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1135&context=spp_papers> (accessed November 17, 2016).
Kaufmann Karen M. (2007). Immigration and the Future of Black Power in U.S. Cities. Du Bois Review: Social Science and Research on Race, 4(1): 7996.
Kuruvila Matthai (2011). Oakland settle suits over failure to translate. San Francisco Chronicle February 18, C-1.
Lee Henry K. (2011). Deborah Edgerly Loses Lawsuit against Oakland. San Francisco Chronicle, October 25. <http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Deborah-Edgerly-loses-lawsuit-against-Oakland-2326001.php> (accessed November 21, 2016).
Lotchin Roger W. (2003). The Bad City in the Good War: San Francisco, Los Angeles, Oakland, and San Diego. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.
Matier Phillip, and Ross Andrew (2011). Cost of Firing 2 Oakland Workers Near $1 Million. Free Republic, Sept 26. <http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2783900/posts> (accessed June 14, 2012).
McClain Paula D., Lyle Monique L., Carter Niambi M., DeFrancesco Soto Victoria M., Lackey Gerald F., Cotton Kendra Davenport, Nunnally Shayla C., Scotto Thomas J., Grynaviski Jeffrey D., and Alan Kendrick J. (2007). Black Americans and Latino Immigrants in a Southern City: Friendly Neighbors or Economic Competitors? Du Bois Review: Social Science and Research on Race, 4(1): 97117.
Oakland City Council (2001). Equal Access to Services Ordinance. Ordinance No. 12324.
Parks Richard. Former City Administrator Loses Gender Discrimination Case Against Ron Dellums. The Bay Citizen. October 24. <https://www.baycitizen.org/news/law/former-city-administrator-loses-gender/> (accessed November 17, 2016).
Public Advocates (2011). Oakland Settlement Gives Non-English Speakers Access to Government Services. Press Release of Public Advocates, February 16. <http://www.publicadvocates.org/press-releases/oakland-settlement-gives-non-english-speakers-access-to-government-services> (accessed March 17, 2012).
Rayburn Kelly (2009). Criticism Grows in Dellums’ Second Year. Oakland Tribune, January 3. NewsBank Database. <http://www.eastbaytimes.com/2009/01/03/criticism-grows-in-dellums-second-year/> (accessed November 17, 2016).
Ruggles Steven, Trent Alexander J., Genadek Katie, Goeken Ronald, Schroeder Matthew B., and Sobek Matthew. (2010). Integrated Public Use Microdata Series: Version 5.0 [Machine-readable database]. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota.
Russo John A. (2007). Legal Opinion on Oakland’s Equal Access Services Ordinance. City of Oakland City Attorney’s Office, June 13.
Shohamy Elana (2012). Language Policy: Hidden Agendas and New Approaches. New York: Routledge.
Singer Audrey (2007). The Rise of New Immigrant Gateways. The Brookings Institute. <http://www.brookings.edu/∼/media/research/files/reports/2004/2/demographics%20singer/20040301_gateways.pdf> (accessed February 11, 2014).
Spencer Robyn (2005). Inside the Panther Revolution: The Freedom Movement and the Black Panther Party in Oakland, California. In Woodard Komozi and Theoharis Jeanne (Eds.), Groundwork: The Local Black Freedom Movement in America, pp. 300318. New York: New York University Press.
State of California (2010). Monthly Labor Force Data for Cities and Census Designated Places (CDP), November 2010—Preliminary. Employment Development Department, Labor Market Information Division, September 8. <http://www.calmis.ca.gov/file/lfmonth/allsubs.xls> (accessed January 14, 2011).
Temple James (2009). Economy Casts Shadow on Oakland 10k Plan’s 10th. The San Francisco Chronicle, July 12. <http://www.sfgate.com/realestate/article/Economy-casts-shadow-on-Oakland-10K-plan-s-10th-3225820.php> (accessed July 28, 2009).
U.S. Bureau of the Census (2014). 1940–2010 Census. <http://www.bayareacensus.ca.gov/cities/Oakland.htm>, <http://www.bayareacensus.ca.gov/counties/AlamedaCounty.htm> (accessed May 30, 2014).
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Du Bois Review: Social Science Research on Race
  • ISSN: 1742-058X
  • EISSN: 1742-0598
  • URL: /core/journals/du-bois-review-social-science-research-on-race
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords:

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 14
Total number of PDF views: 70 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 581 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 17th January 2017 - 24th November 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.