Denise Colome

Major and Classification

Communication and Minor in Sociology

Faculty Mentor

Amon Emeka, Ph.D.


Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism, Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences

McNair Project

“A Qualitative Study on Black and Latino Service Sector Workers at USC”

Project Abstract

This study seeks to deepen the understanding of the treatment and experiences of Black and Latino service workers at the University of Southern California. From an exploratory approach, this qualitative study focuses on specific issues and obstacles service sector workers experience. Two related phases are explored: securing a job, and maintaining a job. Current research states that African American and Latino youth do not have the skills for today’s jobs. In addition, Latinos and Blacks lack a quality education and hence struggle to develop these new skills. Consequently they are often excluded from the economy. This study seeks to answer the following: do African Americans, Latinos, and other groups of color experience ongoing disadvantages that result primarily from indirect market forces, or, continuing discrimination? Do certain situations also occur within large private institutions that often welcome diversity amongst its faculty and student body? Interviews with employees assist in the exploration of the experiences of service sector workers at USC. Specifically, the current structure of the institution within the labor market and the individual path to securing and maintain their jobs are analyzed.