2016FallSymposiumURCreativityEngagement has ended
Tuesday, December 6 • 11:35am - 11:55am
Customer Treatment In Retail Settings: The Influence Of Perceived Race And Class

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Sales clerks who inaccurately perceive customers can lead to consumer racial profiling, discriminatory behaviors, and microaggression toward customers. Prior research indicates that prejudgment of customers based on appearance and preconceived assumptions of race and class continue to be a crucial issue specifically in retail settings. The purpose of this study is to observe the interaction between customers and sales clerks to determine the type of treatment customers receive based on perceived race and class. Perceived age and gender of customers are also variables that can cause differential treatment. This study uses participant-observation to explore differential treatment of customers in various retail settings such as outlet malls, traditional malls and downtown shopping centers. Thirty-two retail establishments were selected for observation to maximize variation on dimensions such as target clientele. Initial analyses suggest that customers who are white are highly favored over customers who are nonwhite, and that white males engage in microaggressions more frequently than do other sales clerks.


Tuesday December 6, 2016 11:35am - 11:55am
237 Zageir Hall