Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Geography & Environmental Studies


Faculty of Arts

First Advisor

Robert Sharpe

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


Latinos cluster in the lower segments of the U. S. labour market and therefore suffer disproportionately from labour market marginalisation and poverty. This dissertation examines supply side forces of the ethnic division of labour. Expanding upon structuration theory and realism, the research investigates the role of place in shaping career decisions of Latino youth. A case study of greater San Antonio, Texas, uses quantitative analysis of U. S. Census data to examine the patterns of youth labour market marginalisation in census tracts. In addition, qualitative in-depth interview analysis was conducted with twenty-nine youth and seventeen community-based institutions in two selected neighbourhoods. The results indicate that place is a mechanism engaged in the social construction of labour market marginality. Geographically narrow activity pattems and spatial isolation expose youth to place-based processes of labour market marginalisation and allow them to be stereotyped according to where they live. Cultural exclusion and discrimination are at the heart of the problem of youth labour market marginalisation. The results stand in sharp contrast with contemporary research, associated with the underclass debate, that provides the basis for public policy making.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season