Black people in the UK are more likely to be unemployed than white people, and where they are employed are more likely to have jobs which are lower-paid and of lower status in comparison with white people (Brown, 1984). This is so in health services and in personal social services. Not only are black people less likely than white people to be employed (relative to proportions of the population) but they are less likely than white people to be promoted into senior positions (Torkington, 1983; Rooney, 1987; Watkins, 1987; Dominelli, 1988; Grimsley and Bhat, 1988). With few exceptions (for example, Doeringer and Piore, 1985) sociologists of organisations and of the professions have tended to ignore racism. This has served to continue the invisibility of a major issue facing caring professions and has failed to provide the theoretical tools with which this problem can be grasped.
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