Negative stereotypes are widely assumed to underpin the mistreatment that black Americans sometimes experience while engaging in everyday consumption activities like shopping or dining away from home. However, studies that directly observe the relationship between service providers’ endorsement of racial stereotypes and the nature of their interactions with black consumers are rare. In response, this study presents results from a factorial survey experiment designed to assess a theoretically grounded causal process leading service providers to racially profile consumers. In two independent samples of restaurant servers and bartenders we show that consumer racial discrimination in the context of full-service restaurants is a function of servers’ endorsement of racial stereotypes depicting blacks as undesirable customers who are dishonest, uncivil, demanding, and bad tippers. Furthermore, we show that servers’ endorsement of such stereotypes and their resultant tendencies to discriminate against black diners increases as a function of contemporary anti-black animus and employment in workplaces characterized by explicit expressions of anti-black biases.
Brewster, Z. W., & Nowak, G. R. (2020). Racialized Workplaces, Contemporary Racial Attitudes, and Stereotype Endorsement: A Recipe for Consumer Racial Profiling. Sociological Perspectives. https://doi.org/10.1177/0731121420946775