Name and Chance of Success Essay examples

Name and Chance of Success Essay examples

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According to all the birth certificates from California dating from 1961 to 2001 DeShawn, DeAndre, Marquis, Tyrone, Imani, Ebony, Shanice, and Aaliyah are the “blackest” names a person could have (Levitt and Dubner 169-170). The whitest names are Jake, Connor, Tanner, Wyatt, Molly, Amy, Katie, and Madeline. This starkly demonstrates that black and white parents name their children differently (Levitt and Dubner 168-169). Additionally more black boys have names that are unique in society than white boys do (Fryer and Levitt 776). These cultural variations raise questions that stem from why and what does it mean? Will a name change the outcome of an individual’s life? Do names lead to different success rates in job acceptance, Income level, or personal accomplishment? If so, is the name really the cause of such outcomes or is it perhaps only a proxy for variables such as race or socioeconomic status? Evidence from audit studies, statewide birth certificate data, and African American naming trends stemming from the civil rights movement support a correlation between name and chance of success. Correlation does not infer causation, however, so there may be more at play. Name is an indicator of socioeconomic status and that status is what will have an effect on chance of success.
Audit studies show the correlation between name and chance of success. They test how names affect success rates in job acceptance. These types studies consist of sending two identical résumés to prospective employers except one résumé contains a white sounding name and the other contains a black or ethnic sounding name. The ratio of the white sounding applicants being called back for an interview versus the ethnic or black sounding applicant in then record...

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...the 44th president of our United States. To these men, and many others in the world, the meaning of their name, or what their name connotates about their history or race, did not stop them from succeeding in society. The people who are born into lower class neighborhood and carry a distinctively black name are only less likely to succeed, however, it does not mean that they won’t. Just as a person born into a wealthy neighborhood is more likely to succeed but isn’t insured of it. Names, although a proxy for socioeconomic status, will not be a deciding factor in a person’s life. Of course it can be easier for a person to succeed who come from a wealthy educated family, and of course it can be harder for a person to succeed who comes from an uneducated poor family, but it is those factors, not a name, that will affect the chances of one’s success in today’s society.

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