Cultural Insight

Walking the path of global and cultural understanding. This is a glimpse into my journey

Friday, June 23, 2006

Identity Matters

Oregon State University Researchers Find That a Black-Sounding Name Is a Huge Disadvantage When Seeking Rental Housing
A study by researchers at Oregon State University published in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology finds that an ethnic-sounding name can have an adverse impact on whether a prospective tenant is able to rent an apartment. The researchers sent more than 1,000 e-mails to landlords in the Los Angeles area inquiring about advertised vacancies. The researchers used three different names with ethnic connotations in their inquiries: Patrick McDougall, Tyrell Jackson, and Said Al-Rahman.
The results showed that Patrick McDougall, presumably a white man, received positive responses from 89 percent of the landlords. Said Al-Rahman received responses encouraging him to apply to rent from 66 percent of the landlords. But when the name Tyrell Jackson was used, positive responses were received from only 56 percent of the landlords.
In the past, similar results have been reported when names with ethnic connotations have been tested in applications for loans and employment. Journal of Blacks in Higher Education


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