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Lecture 24

GOVT 2225 Lecture Notes - Lecture 24: Housing Discrimination, Concentrated Poverty, Redlining

Course Code
GOVT 2225
Anna Haskins

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The US is more racially segregated today (2015) than at the end of the Civil War (1865)!
Geography of Race & Inequality
Spatial patterns of segregation in the US
oRace and Poverty
oThose that are the most impoverished areas host the most people of color
Segregation Measure
oIndex of Dissimilarity
oExposure and Isolation Indices
Changes between 1980 and 2010
Processes of segregation
Measures of Segregation
Index of Dissimilarity
Measures the amount of segregation between two groups in a city
oCompares each group’s total city population with its population in each
oRanges from 0 to 100, higher numbers represent more segregation
Rule of thumb
oIndices <30 are low
oIndices 30-60 are moderate
oIndices 60+ are high
Represents the percentage one group would have to move to achieve an even
residential pattern
Exposure/Isolation Indices
Exposure Index: compares exposure of one group to another
oRanges from 0 to 100, higher numbers indicate more exposure to other group
oExample: a white-black exposure score of 8% would mean that the average
white lives in a neighborhood that is 8% black
Isolation Index: compares exposure of a group to itself
oRanges from 0 to 100, higher numbers indicate more intra-race isolation
oExample: a white isolation score of 80% would mean that the average white lives
in a neighborhood that is 80% white
Logan & Stults 2011
Main findings
Black-white residential segregation has continued to decline
oPeak in 1960-70s, since then steady but slow decline
Hispanics and Asians still less segregated than Blacks, but their continued population
growth has increased their likelihood of living in isolation
Whites continue to live in more racially homogenous neighborhoods than other groups
Over the past 30 years, the presence of Blacks in the typical White person’s
neighborhood has barely changed
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In 1990, the same share of whites and blacks lived in racially segregated neighborhoods
of large cities
Now, Blacks in major cities are almost twice as likely as whites to be living in segregated
What Generated These Patterns?
Post-industrial society unleashes powerful economic forces
oA decline in manufacturing shifts the spatial distribution of jobs
Out-migration of middle-class blacks from urban neighborhoods accelerates from the
1970s onward
oPush: A deteriorating environment in inner cities
oPull: Barriers to mobility weakened due to civil rights improvements
Consequences of these changes
oConcentration of poverty within northern urban inner cities
oMassey & Denton: “Racial residential segregation is the principal structural
feature of American society responsible for the perpetuation of urban poverty &
represents a primary cause of racial inequality in the US”
Massey & Denton 1993
The creation of the black ghetto (1900-1940)
oSpontaneous and organized violence
oThen a deliberate strategy of neighborhood associations and associations of
Reinforcement of the black ghetto (1940-1968)
oFederal housing programs
The persistence of the ghetto (1968-present)
oDiscrimination with a smile (realtors and banks)
oWhites profess to support housing integration, and yet they continue to flee
neighborhoods when blacks move in
Processes of Segregation
Housing discrimination
oProperty covenants
White flight/fight
But what about Preferences?
Preferences: Segregation v. Integration
Detroit Area Study (1978)
For majority of blacks, ideal neighborhood is 50% black and 50% white
For majority of whites (84%) would not enter that type of neighborhood
For a quarter of whites, a single black neighbor would make them uncomfortable
Charles 2003 on Preferences
All groups exhibit preferences for same-race neighbors
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oStrongest among whites:
20% would prefer all white
Weakest among blacks and Hispanics
Across all racial groups, whites are most exclusionary
However, blacks exclusionary of other minority groups
Whites are consistently the most desirable neighbors
Separate and Unequal
Minorities are far more likely to live in poor neighborhoods
Almost no whites live in neighborhoods with extreme poverty
What are the Consequences?
Odds of “upward mobility” are lower for blacks than for whites because of the
interaction between neighborhood disadvantage and:
oAccess to quality institutions
oSingle parenthood
oRacial stratification of wealth
Social Mobility and Spatial Mobility
Barriers to spatial mobility are barriers to social mobility
Often as SES increases, families move into better neighborhoods (spatial assimilation
However, blacks face barriers to spatial mobility AT ALL INCOME LEVELS (place
stratification theory, emphasizes discrimination)
Recap: Last Lecture
oDecreases over time, but still quite high
oSuburbanization (Wilson)
oDiscrimination (Massey & Denton)
oPersonal preferences (Charles)
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