Journal article

The best person for the job is the most qualified, right? : an experimental study about Islamophobia in hiring practices

  • El Maohub, Yassmeen Istituto di comunicazione pubblica (ICP), Facoltà di comunicazione, cultura e società, Università della Svizzera italiana, Svizzera
  • Rangelov, Natalie Istituto di comunicazione pubblica (ICP), Facoltà di comunicazione, cultura e società, Università della Svizzera italiana, Svizzera
  • Suggs, L. Suzanne Istituto di comunicazione pubblica (ICP), Facoltà di comunicazione, cultura e società, Università della Svizzera italiana, Svizzera
  • 2022
Published in:
  • Journal of Social Marketing. - 2022, p. 22 p.
English Purpose: Islamophobia is a growing social problem that leads to the discrimination of Muslims. Using Group Conflict Theory and the Integrated Threat Theory as the theoretical frameworks, this study aims to measure the presence of Islamophobia in the hiring practices of the most southern state of Switzerland. Design/methodology/approach: An experimental formative research study was conducted with employees. Based on CVs for two positions, back-office and front-office, candidates were selected for interviews and reasons were provided. Two variables were manipulated to represent the “Muslim appearance” on the CVs: the picture and the name. A content analysis of reasons was conducted in addition to descriptive statistics of survey responses. Findings: A negative perception of Muslim candidates emerged from the answers with a clear difference between the two scenarios: candidates perceived to be Muslim were not rejected from the back-office position, but they were from the front-office position. Social implications: Results demonstrate that hiring practices in Ticino Switzerland are, in some cases, based on a prejudicial attitude. As long as Muslims were “not seen as Muslims to the customers,” they were judged as acceptable for the job. This has implications for social marketing research and practice aimed to change this discrimination behavior. A next step could be to understand if it is fear of Muslims or fear of what the public might think of Muslims that cause the selection difference between the two jobs. Systems-wide and macro level social marketing research is well suited to investigate such problems and test solutions, in a local context, following the methodology used in this study. Originality/value: A disturbing escalation of the phenomenon of Islamophobia has emerged across the globe. This paper examines a fundamental issue in equity and prosperity, which is equal opportunity for employment. Using experimental design, the authors find that discrimination exists in hiring practices, which is a problem that social marketing is well equipped to address.
Language
  • English
Classification
Social sciences
Other electronic version

Versione pubblicata

License
CC BY-NC
Open access status
green
Persistent URL
https://susi.usi.ch/usi/documents/322286
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