THE DIVIDE AND CONQUER HYPOTHESIS: AN ANALYSIS OF INTERNAL LABOR MARKETS AND RACIAL INEQUALITY OF MEN IN THE UNITED STATES
Marxist economists have focused on the "divide and conquer" hypothesis as an explanation for the reproduction ot racial inequality in the United States. The underlying methodological framework is an historically rooted analysis of class divisions and class conflicts in which racial inequality is a means of maintaining capitalist hegemony. This model of racial inequality is linked to the bureaucratization of the firm and to the development of internal labor markets. It is argued that the creation of these social structures by the capitalist class institutionalized racism, insuring capitalist hegemony and the exploitative nature of the social relations of production. This theory is posited as an explanation for the relatively flat earnings profile of black men compared to white men. This dissertation will analyze the "divide and conquer" hypothesis, both theoretically and empirically. By incorporating into the analysis the role of individual capitals and the role of organized labor in the formation of internal labor markets, this dissertation will provide an alternative theoretical explanation for the reproduction of racial inequality. This analysis will lead to the conclusion that the ability of some workers to protect their jobs and wage structure through the development of internal labor markets has been a victory for some white workers, but has had the effect of limiting black labor to a narrow band within the occupational spectrum. Empirically, I propose a study of internal labor markets that will provide a test for the validity of the "divide and conquer" hypothesis. In this work, I develop a model analyzing the effects of unionization and internal labor markets on white to black wages. I will demonstrate that the relative gains as a consequence of unionization have been mitigated by the countervailing forces imposed by the use of internal labor market structures.