My paternal ancestors had the occupational surname Radermacher (wheel-wright / cart-wright.) Over time, that became shortened to Rader. When my father went to the US Air Force recruitment office to enlist, the recruiter thought it appropriate for William Rader to become a Radar technician.
My father learned electronics and went on to become an electrical engineer. He learned industrial automation technologies, including microprocessor design and programming. When microcomputers became small and affordable, he had them at home.
I grew up with those computers and was rather fond of them. I went on to earn a CS degree and become a software engineer.
"Are Emily and Greg More Employable than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination"
"We perform a field experiment to measure racial discrimination in the labor market. We respond with fictitious resumes to help-wanted ads in Boston and Chicago newspapers. To manipulate perception of race, each resume is assigned either a very African American sounding name or a very White sounding name. The results show significant discrimination against African-American names: White names receive 50 percent more callbacks for interviews. We also find that race affects the benefits of a better resume. For White names, a higher quality resume elicits 30 percent more callbacks whereas for African Americans, it elicits a far smaller increase. Applicants living in better neighborhoods receive more callbacks but, interestingly, this effect does not differ by race. The amount of discrimination is uniform across occupations and industries. Federal contractors and employers who list Equal Opportunity Employer' in their ad discriminate as much as other employers. We find little evidence that our results are driven by employers inferring something other than race, such as social class, from the names. These results suggest that racial discrimination is still a prominent feature of the labor market."
Turns out names DO have an impact on your life.
Names often become something of a self fulfilling prophecy. If you were raised in an environment where it seemed reasonable for your parents to name you something unfortunate, your life will probably be just as unfortunate as your name.
The thing is, people know this. If you are dealing with a Laquicha or a Brandi, more likely than not, you will assume that she is from a lower class upbringing. This might influence the way you think about her.
"His father, an Ethiopean electrical engineer, worried that his children would not follow in his footsteps as people of science. To make their career paths clear from birth, he named them after subatomic particles"
I thought this idea of parents using one of their earliest parental acts to influence the destiny of a child to be a fascinating facet of human nature.