Name-Based Discrimination and Resume Whitening: How Do Second-Generation Immigrants Understand and Navigate “Anticipated Discrimination” in the Canadian Labour Market?
The present study explores the phenomenon of name-based discrimination (and racially discriminatory hiring processes more broadly) from the standpoint of young racialized second-generation immigrants themselves, as they make their transitions from school–work. Through the use of interviews, open-ended surveys, and focus groups with second-generation immigrants, this paper examines not only the attitudes of our participants toward name-based discrimination, but also the ways they come to know, understand, and navigate this phenomenon as social actors. Findings revealed a high level of awareness of name-based discrimination among these young people. Some participants engaged in “resume-whitening” tactics that are intended to circumvent anticipated discrimination, but they expressed varying levels of moral consternation about using these tactics. Participants also shared their views on the intersections of racial and gender discrimination, including the assumptions employers may have made about them. Overall, participants’ responses indicated a critical, reflexive, and agentic awareness to the challenges they faced, and a proactive orientation to navigating these phenomena.