Brooks, S. N., & McKail, M. A. (2008). A Theory Of The Preferred Worker: A Structural Explanation For Black Male Dominance In Basketball. Critical Sociology, 34(3), 369-387.
Black males’ `dominance’ in basketball is taken for granted and often explained in terms of racial difference and socio-environmental factors. However, this is only one side of the coin. Power needs to be considered for a fuller understanding. This article does this, providing a structural perspective of black male integration into basketball that builds from Edna Bonacich’s work on labor and group relations. An occupational niche is two-way; a group finds and occupies a niche that they have been given access to by a hiring group. Black males do not dominate the collegiate and professional ranks of basketball simply because of ability. They were given access to the opportunity because it benefited capitalist interests and because of their marginalized position in society. In this specific context, they represent the most profitable labor source.
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