Throughout the history of the United States, fluctuations in cultural diversity, immigration, and ethnic group status have been closely linked to shifts in the economy and labor market. Over three decades after the beginning of the civil rights movement, and in the midst of significant socioeconomic change at the end of this century, scholars search for new ways to describe the persistent roadblocks to upward mobility that women and people of color still encounter in the workforce. In Glass Ceilings and Asian Americans, Deborah Woo analyzes current scholarship and controversies on the glass ceiling and labor market discrimination in conjunction with the specific labor histories of Asian American ethnic groups. She then presents unique, in-depth studies of two current sites-a high tech firm and higher education-to argue that a glass ceiling does in fact exist for Asian Americans, both according to quantifiable data and to Asian American workers' own perceptions of their workplace experiences.
Woo's studies make an important contribution to understanding the increasingly complex and subtle interactions between ethnicity and organizational cultures in today's economic institutions and labor markets.
Deborah Woo is a professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz.