Race, Sex, and Clarence Thomas: Representation Change in the EEOC


  • Kenneth J. Meier,

    1. Kenneth J. Meier is the Charles Puryear Professor of Liberal Arts and Professor of Political Science at Texas A&M University. He also holds an appointment as a professor of public management in the Cardiff School of Business, Cardiff University (Wales). He is currently involved in two major research projects–a set of quantitative studies of public management and its influence on organizational performance, and a series of studies on race, ethnicity, and gender as they influence bureaucracy's role in the policy process. Email: kmeier@polisci.tamu.edu.
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  • Michael S. Pennington,

    1. Michael S. Pennington is a visiting professor at Stephen F. Austin State University. His research interests focus on human resource management and intergovernmental regulation, particularly surface mine regulation. E-mail: penningtms@sfasu.edu.
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  • Warren S. Eller

    1. Warren S. Eller is a visiting assistant professor in the George Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University. He is a doctoral candidate at Texas A&M University in political science. He has been published in the Journal of Politics. His research interests include representation, human relations, and organizational violence. E-mail: eller@polisci.tamu.edu.
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The theory of representative bureaucracy concerns whether bureaucracy mirrors the origins and values of the population and, if so, whether such representation makes any difference. This article extends Hindera's examination of active bureaucratic representation within the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to determine the effect of introducing new goals (disability discrimination) and priorities (sexual harassment) on the EEOC's representational patterns. Using data from the late 1980s and late 1990s, we find the extent of active representation of African Americans declined. Although the EEOC is now pursuing more cases of sex discrimination, no evidence of active representation exists for women in EEOC district offices.