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Introduction and Overview

During the last decade, there has been growing recognition of the increasing cultural diversity of the population and the workforce in the United States. With this recognition of the changing U.S. demography has come an increasing number of publications devoted to improving our understanding of racial and ethnic minorities in the workforce (see Jackson & Associates, 1992; and Triandis, Kurowski, & Gelfand, 1994, for two recent examples). The current book is an addition to this burgeoning collection, but from a perspective embedded in the field of counseling psychology. In 1991, I served as the Guest Editor of a special issue of the Career Development Quarterly, which focused on the Career Development of Racial and Ethnic Minorities. An excerpt from my Guest Editorial (Leong, 1991) for that special issue provides a context for the need of the current book:

The special issue of the Career Development Quarterly was only able to capture a small slice of the knowledge base that has been accumulated on the career development of ethnic minorities. As a second step, the current book was proposed and readily accepted for publication by Lawrence Erlbaum Associates in their Vocational Psychology series. I was fortunate to be able to assemble a team of leading scholars and researchers to contribute to this project, and this book is the product of their expertise. More detailed information about the background of the contributors are presented elsewhere in this volume.