"Consumer Profiling of a Market - DOC"
Special Session: Perspectives on Consumer Racial Profiling and Marketplace Discrimination: Looking Through the Eyes of Consumers, Small Business Entrepreneurs, and Jurors Session Chair: Jerome D. Williams, Ph.D. F.J. Heyne Centennial Professor University of Texas at Austin Department of Advertising/Warfield Center for African and African American Studies 1 University Station A1200 Austin, TX 78712-1092 Office: 512-471-7302 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Papers in Special Session: The Three Faces of CRP: A Program of Research for Studying Discrimination in the Marketplace Edith Davidson, Auburn University Analyzing Consumer Response to Marketplace Discrimination Geraldine R. Henderson, University of Texas at Austin Analyzing the Response of Minority Small Business Entrepreneurs to Marketplace Discrimination Jerome D. Williams, University of Texas at Austin Sterling A. Bone, Brigham Young University Glenn L. Christensen, Brigham Young University Analyzing Juror Response to Marketplace Discrimination Anne-Marie G. Hakstian, Salem State College Session Overview Despite great strides, racial discrimination remains a serious problem in the United States. Efforts to eradicate discrimination have concentrated on education, housing, employment, and other areas of daily life. From a vulnerable population perspective (Baker et al. 2005; Hill 2006), the feelings and expressions of minority consumers that they feel out of place, unwelcome, and against all odds when attempting to transact business in the marketplace may be due to the interaction of individual (e.g., a person‟s race) and situational characteristics (e.g., structural or societal barriers). Consumer racial profiling (CRP) is one manifestation of marketplace discrimination. It has been defined as the differential treatment of consumers in the marketplace based on race/ethnicity, that constitutes denial or degradation in the products or services that are offered to the consumer, and has been recognized as actual and perceived 1 consumer discrimination in marketplace settings (Harris, Henderson, and Williams 2005). A distinguishing aspect of CRP compared to other forms of marketplace discrimination is that CRP involves suspicion of criminal activity, e.g., suspecting that minority consumers are more likely to engage in shoplifting compared to non-minority consumes. However, there are many other types of non-CRP incidents of marketplace discrimination, i.e., those that do not involve suspecting customers of engaging in criminal activity. This broader type of differential treatment of consumers in the marketplace is based on race/ethnicity and also constitutes denial of or degradation in the products and/or services offered to the consumer, e.g., ignoring customers, making them wait an inordinately long time for service, treating them rudely, waiting on non-minority customers first, discouragement, mistaken identity, rejection, verbal and/or physical attacks, undue use of force, requiring of additional identification for credit or check purchases, etc. (Williams, Henderson, and Harris 2001, Gabbidon 2003). Marketplace discrimination covers consumption experiences that occur in such establishments as hotels, restaurants, gas stations, and service providers, as well as retail establishments including grocery/food stores, clothing stores, department stores, home improvement and office equipment stores. Furthermore, marketplace discrimination and CRP impact members of minority groups beyond those classified as Black/African American, such as Hispanics, Asians, Native and Arab Americans. In fact, since September 11, 2001, there has been heightened interest and concern about CRP as it applies to anyone perceived as Middle Eastern, including South Asians, Latinos, and even Jews (Nakao 2001). To date, the research focus of CRP has occurred in B2C retail settings. Since 1990, anecdotal evidence, including hundreds of stories of in the popular press and “hidden camera” investigations by television news programs such as Dateline and 20/20 reveal that people of color are often ignored, under-serviced, or over-scrutinized in contrast to whites. Bone et al. (2008) proposes that future CRP research be directed toward disentangling the expressions and external forces of vulnerability among small business owners as they transact as consumers in the marketplace. Lost in the wide spectrum of much larger “small business,” entrepreneurs have attenuated business acumen and limited resources, and therefore behave more like “consumers” than they do “commercial” entities. Another notable limitation of CRP research is the scope of methods that have been used to capture actual and perceived consumer racial vulnerability. The purpose of this special session is to describe a diverse array of methodological approaches employed by academics and law-enforcement agents (e.g., the courts) to document and enforce equality and fair treatment of racial minorities in B2C and B2B marketplace exchanges. The four papers will describe a diverse array of research methodologies, including scenario-based experimental studies, traditional survey methods, qualitative in-depth interviews, and role- playing. After an opening overview presentation, the three subsequent presenters will focus on the application of these methodologies to three primary groups, namely, consumers, small business owners, and jurors. Session Format This session will engage presenters whose experience spans traditional academic background, industry and practitioner experience as consultants, and expert witnesses in court cases, columnists of OP-EED pieces on marketplace discrimination in major newspapers across the country, and in the case of one presenter, legal background as an attorney. Collectively they will present session attendees with novel approaches to investigate marketplace discrimination 2 and the race-based profiling of customers. These presenters have been specifically selected based on their expertise in novel research methods and their unique contributions to understanding race-profiling as an external force of vulnerability among consumers in B2C and B2B contexts. The primary goal of this session is to stimulate new thought and research directions to help academics, practitioners and policy-makers gain deeper insights into approaches to eradicate race discrimination in marketplace exchanges. New methods and theoretical frameworks will be debated. To ensure that ample time is allotted for the discussion of new thought and research direction, each presenter will be limited to 15 minutes, followed by a brief Q&A/discussion of any immediate questions. Finally, the session will conclude with twenty minutes of moderated discussion guided by the session chair, where presenters and the audience will exchange thoughts and ideas for future research directions. Four Individual Papers The Three Faces of CRP: A Program of Research for Studying Discrimination in the Marketplace Edith Davidson, Auburn University This first paper will provide an overview and background to understanding consumer racial profiling (CRP). It will begin by presenting three perspectives from which CRP can be examined in research: the actor's perspective, the target's perspective and an objective perspective. Existing social psychology and marketing research in each area will be reviewed. The paper will then propose research questions that may be explored using each perspective. Additionally, public policy and marketing implications of this research program will be discussed. Analyzing Consumer Response to Marketplace Discrimination Geraldine R. Henderson, University of Texas at Austin It sometimes is easy to get caught up in the euphoria of the recent significant gains of historically subordinates groups in the United States, at the expense of recognizing the inequalities that still exist in many domains of society. To pinpoint this contrast, on the day after President-elect Barack Obama's historic victory, Reuters published data from U.S. government agencies that highlighting continuing racial inequality covering the four broad categories of health, the economy, criminal justice, and education. Our research suggests that racial inequality also may be a continuing and significant problem in the American marketplace. The litigation that has taken place during the past decade reveals that the marketplace is not immune from the discrimination that exists in other sectors of society. Therefore, marketers and public policymakers must address the perception or the reality that they engage in discriminatory conduct based on their customers‟ race and ethnicity. More research is needed to understand the causes, the consequences, and potential solutions for eliminating this form of unfair treatment in the marketplace. Marketplace discrimination is a form of discrimination against customers engaged in shopping or purchasing goods or services. According to Harris, Henderson, and Williams (2005), 3 the discriminatory treatment may involve overt or subtle prejudice and may result in outright denial or degradation in goods or services. Furthermore, customers may or may not be treated with criminal suspicion. While such discrimination experiences are prevalent according to surveys of African- and Hispanic-American shoppers, lawsuits against retailers and other commercial establishments are largely unsuccessful and shoppers may feel limited in the action they can take. The purpose of the present study was twofold: first, to determine what characteristics of the discriminatory situation influence people‟s perceptions of the severity of cases of marketplace discrimination and second, to ascertain what actions they deem are appropriate following the discrimination incident. Approximately 1100 participants were randomly presented with one of 32 variations of a marketplace discrimination scenario that varied in the nature of the discrimination and the ethnicity of the victim. Participants rated the severity of the treatment, their emotional responses to the scenario, and the responses they thought the victim should have. Results are discussed in terms of the theories of aversive racism and liberation psychology. To address the research questions, we conducted a scenario-based experiment embedded in a survey using web-based data collection. The scenario method has been used in other studies where respondents are presented with vignettes for which they answer survey questions, with the factor of interest manipulated in the vignettes (e.g., Wirtz and Bateson 1999). We manipulated the type of marketplace discrimination based on actual court cases of consumer racial profiling and marketplace discrimination, using the dimensions of discrimination developed by Harris, Henderson, and Williams (2005): the type of discrimination (overt or subtle), the level of service (degradation or denial), suspicion of criminal treatment (present or not). Our preliminary results indicate that overall participants felt that the customer was very badly treated across the experimental conditions. Compared to the Low Discrimination Scenario, participants who read the High Discriminatory Scenario 1.) rated the treatment to be more unpleasant, 2.) disagreed that the customer should keep shopping or dismissed the treatment because the clerk was having a bad day, and 3.) agreed that the customer should take actions such as contacting the Better Business Bureau, talking to an attorney, or organizing a boycott. Also, participants who perceived more CRP supported stronger responses (contacting the attorney, organizing a boycott) in response to the more severe scenario and were less likely to dismiss the discrimination when the customer was White or Asian American. These results suggest that participants must: 1) already perceive that consumer discrimination is a pervasive problem in society and 2) be exposed to the “worst case scenario” in order to respond that the customer in the scenario should do something as drastic as contacting an attorney or organizing a boycott. We will discus the implications of our results for marketers and public policymakers. In addition, a qualitative component to this project allowed us to better understand the nature of the problem through interviews with individuals about their experiences with consumer discrimination. Analyzing Responses of Minority Small Business Entrepreneurs to Marketplace Discrimination Jerome D. Williams, University of Texas at Austin Sterling A. Bone, Brigham Young University Glenn L. Christensen, Brigham Young University 4 In our previous work (Bone et al. 2007), we conclude that small entrepreneurial business banking customers are inherently vulnerable to prejudicial discrimination because regulatory enforcement and policy oversight of bank lending practices rest on the erroneous assumption that retail bank consumers and business banking customers are completely discrete and disparate consumers of bank products. This undergirding, yet erroneous assumption limits efficacy of public policy safety nets and may restrict access to capital financing for entrepreneurs. In our earlier work we proposed entrepreneurs of racial and/or ethnic minority status might experience exacerbated effects of restricted market access to commercial funding. The present research employs in-depth interviews with minority business owners to understand the racial and ethnic profiling of small business owners. Minority entrepreneurship is pressing issue for federal, state, and economic stakeholders. Recent U.S. Senate subcommittee hearings on minority entrepreneurship reported census and economic data which suggests that minority entrepreneurs are most vulnerable to marketplace discrimination (Snowe 2007; Wainwright 2007). Where is discrimination among small business owners most likely to manifest its ugly head? A report from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (2005) concludes that lack of access to capital and credit is among the most cited obstacles for African American and Hispanic business owners. Furthermore, Wainwright (2007) reported finding quantitative evidence that minority-owned businesses are substantially and significantly more likely to be denied credit than are white-owned firms. We propose to investigate the following research questions. First, how do the conditions and expressions of vulnerability among White business owners differ from the conditions and expressions of African American and Hispanic business owners in capital-seeking marketplace exchanges? Second, what are the factors that increase the likelihood of vulnerability among African American and Hispanic entrepreneurs? Third, what types of appraisal, defense and coping mechanisms do minority entrepreneurs employ to counter vulnerability? We will now present an overview of the research method employed and a brief summary of our results. Thirty-four informants who owned their business were recruited for this study. Eighteen of these informants were White, 8 were Hispanic, and 8 were African American. We employed the Zaltman Metaphor Elicitation Technique (ZMET; see Zaltman 1997), a semi-structured, in- depth interview format that focuses on uncovering the informants‟ emotions, beliefs, and values. This approach is recommended for exploring the deeply held and shared cultural models (Keller 1993). Informants were asked to prepare for their 90-minute interview by writing down at least five thoughts and feelings about seeking financing for their businesses. Informants were also asked to find a picture that represented each of their thoughts or feelings. The combination of the approaches elicited rich and descriptive insights into the informants‟ perceived vulnerability. The data were analyzed using the grounded theory framework (Strauss and Corbin 1990). The coding process produced more than 200 unique meaning constructs, of which 50 were unique to minority business owners. A careful comparative analysis within and across the race/ethnic groups revealed insights into the internal and external forces of vulnerability and the stark differences in appraisal, coping and defense mechanisms that non-minority and minority entrepreneurs employ to respond to situational and race-related vulnerability. The results are presented as action-steps that policy-makers may take to promote and strengthen minority business ownership. 5 Analyzing Juror Response to Marketplace Discrimination Anne-Marie Hakstian, Salem State College Sophia R. Evett, Salem State College The key functions of the jury in the American legal system are to provide the views of a representative cross-section of the community and to decide cases in an unbiased way. Although the U.S. Constitution guarantees an impartial jury of one‟s peers, research shows that juries are not representative of the multicultural nature of society (Higgins, 1999). In selecting a jury for their case, lawyers may strike individuals from the panel of prospective jurors through the use of peremptory challenges as well as challenges for cause. In contrast with challenges “for cause,” peremptory challenges may be exercised without stating a reason. As a result of the 1986 Supreme Court decision in Batson v. Kentucky, 476 U.S. 79, it is now unconstitutional for lawyers to exercise their peremptory challenges in a way that intentionally discriminates against blacks on the basis of race. Despite this ruling, judges continue to give prosecutors the benefit of the doubt when they offer race-neutral justifications for the exclusion of African Americans from juries (Brown, 2003). In 1992, the Supreme Court reiterated its concern about the possibility that conscious and unconscious racism can impact the perceptions of White jurors in evaluating the guilt or innocence of African American defendants in criminal trials (Sommers et al., 2001). Similarly, claims brought by African Americans may not be heard in the same way by White jurors as they are by African American jurors. Therefore, the under-representation of African Americans on juries may affect the outcomes of civil lawsuits in which African Americans attempt to vindicate their rights under the Civil Rights Act. This is especially troubling in light of the fact that many African Americans experience discrimination and unfair treatment while shopping. Research to date has focused primarily on the impact of jury racial composition in criminal cases and, in particular, in death penalty cases. In their study, Bowers et al. (2001) used data from the Capital Jury Project, a national study of capital jurors‟ decision making through interviews with 1,155 actual jurors from 340 trials in fourteen states, including 113 African American jurors (9.8 percent of the entire sample) from 83 of these cases. In analyzing the jurors‟ accounts, they found significant differences between African American and White jurors in terms of their lingering doubt, their perceptions of the defendants‟ remorse, and their beliefs about the future dangerousness of the defendant. The authors concluded that African American and White jurors make different, apparently race-linked interpretations of the same evidence (Bowers et al., 2001). For example, Whites tend to make pro-prosecution interpretations of evidence. Mock jury studies have established that: 1) white mock jurors are more likely to judge African American defendants than White defendants guilty and to impose more severe punishment on African American than on White defendants; 2) White jurors are more likely to convict when the victim is White, and African American jurors are more likely to convict when the victim is African American, regardless of the defendant‟s race; and 3) disparities in sentencing are most stark when the defendant is African American and the victim is White (Bowers et al., 2001). Sommers (2006) examined the effects of racial diversity on group decision-making. Participants deliberated on the trial of an African American defendant as members of racially homogeneous or heterogeneous mock juries. Half of the groups were exposed to pre-trial jury selection questions about racism and half were not. Analysis of the deliberations established that diverse groups exchanged more information than all-White groups. Sommers attributed the difference to Whites who cited more case facts, made fewer errors, and were more amenable to 6 discussion of racism when in diverse groups. Even before deliberation, Whites in diverse groups were more lenient toward the African American defendant, demonstrating that the effects of diversity do not occur solely through information exchange. Sommers‟ study demonstrated that racially-mixed juries engaged in more thorough and effective deliberation than all-White juries in criminal trials (2006). We extended Sommers‟ research by examining the effect of racial composition of juries in civil trials. We hypothesized that mixed-race juries would deliberate longer, consider more evidence, and consider the role of racism rather than dismissing it. Participants read a summary of a civil lawsuit based on an actual case in which an African American woman sued a large retail department store alleging that department store personnel treated her unfairly. Participants were instructed to interact and make judgments as if they were jurors judging an actual case. After reading the case summary and the attached jury instructions, participants were asked to complete a pre-deliberation questionnaire in which they indicated their decision in favor of or against the plaintiff and, if appropriate, suggested the dollar amount of a damage award for the plaintiff. The mock jurors were instructed to select a fore-person and to deliberate as a group. A video-camera recorded the deliberations. We examined the decision, the awarded damages, if any, and characteristics of the deliberation such as how much information was discussed, whether and how race and racism were addressed, and their perceptions of the plaintiff and defendant. References Baker, Stacy Menzel, James W. Gentry, and Terr L. Rittenburg (2005), “Building Understanding of the Domain of Consumer Vulnerability,” Journal of Macromarketing, 5(2), 128-139. Bone, Sterling A., Glenn Christensen, and John C. Mowen (2007), "Customer Protection Regulations and the Vulnerability of Small Entrepreneurial Business Bank Customers: A Qualitative Investigation," working paper. Bowers, W.J., Steiner, B.D., Sandys, M. (2001). “Death Sentencing in Black and White: An Empirical Analysis of the Role of Jurors‟ Race and Jury Racial Composition,” Journal of Constitutional Law, Vol. 3(1): 171-274. Brown, Jr., Lonnie T. (2003). “Racial Discrimination in Jury Selection: Professionalism Misconduct, Not Legitimate Advocacy,” Review of Litigation, Vol. 22(2): 209- Gabbidon, Shaun L. 2003. “Racial Profiling by Store Clerks and Security Personnel in Retail Establishments: An Exploration of „Shopping While Black‟,” Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice, Vol. 19(3): 345-364. Harris, A-M., Henderson, G.R., Williams, J.D. 2005. “Courting Customers: Assessing Consumer Racial Profiling and Other Marketplace Discrimination.” Journal of Public Policy and Marketing, Policy Watch: Commentaries and Viewpoints, Vol. 24 (1): 163-171. Higgins, Michael (1999). Few Are Chosen, American Bar Association Journal, Vol. 85: 50. Hill, Ronald Paul (2005), “Do the Poor Deserve Less than Surfers? An Essay For the Special Issue on Vulnerable Consumers,” Journal of Macromarketing, 5(2), 215-218. Nakao, Annie (2001), “Arab Americans caught in profile snare / Detained, Denied Boarding or Kicked Off Planes for Looking Middle Eastern,” The San Francisco Chronicle, September 28, A1. 7 Snowe, Olympia J. (2007), “Minority Entrepreneurship: Assessing the Effectiveness of SBA Programs for the Minority Business Community,” Small Business Committee Hearing: May 22, 2007, United States Senate. Sommers, S.R. (2006). “On racial diversity and group decision making: Identifying multiple effects of racial composition on jury deliberations,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol. 90(4): 597-612. Sommers, S.R. and Ellsworth, P.C. (2001). “White juror bias: An investigation of racial prejudice against black defendants in the American courtroom,” Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, Vol. 7: 201-229. U.S. Chamber of Commerce (2005), “Access to capital, what funding sources work for you?, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Washington DC, 55. Wainwright, Jon S. (2007), “Testimony Concerning the Current State of Minority-Owned and Women-Owned Business Enterprises in the United States,” United States Senate Committee Hearings on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, May 22, 2007. Williams, Jerome D, Geraldine R. Henderson, and Anne-Marie Harris (2001), “Consumer Racial Profiling: Bigotry Goes to Market,” The New Crisis, November/December, 22-24. Wirtz, J. and J.E.G. Bateson (1999), “Consumer Satisfaction with Services: Integrating the Environmental Perspective in Services Marketing into the Traditional Disconfirmation Paradigm,” Journal of Business Research, 44(1) 55-66. 8