Segregation by race and income in the United States 1970–2010

by nnolting on November 7, 2016 - 11:22pm

 

Do you like where you live or would you move in a heartbeat if you could? America, like any society, has opportunities and resources that are unevenly distributed in space, which in turn requires geographic mobility for people to access them fully. In metropolitan areas, mobility happens when residents move between neighborhoods. In capitalist societies, resources are accessed through the housing market, and based on socioeconomic status these people are able to find the areas that foster their lifestyle (45).  But how does a person change where they live or which situation that they are in? Can someone change their status and living situation?

Socioeconomic status plays a major role along with race in determining a person’s residential location and their ability to then move from their current status. Based on all the progress that has been made over the course of the past 50 years in America, should this really be the case? How do we change living conditions so that this isn’t the case or at least it isn’t as segregated as it still is in America today? Think back to the first time that you heard of the word segregation… those times are gone or are they not? How would you define segregation? Is that really a word we would use to describe society and living conditions in the world today? When sociologists began to analyze the various living situations and demographics and how they are influenced by such factors, segregation is still an issue in our country that needs to be paid more attention. If anything is going to change for people who are currently unable to leave and are stuck in the segregation by race and income, based on statistics, changes need to be implemented. 

After the 1965 revival of immigration into the United States, research showcased the idea that residential segregation was plaguing Hispanics and Asians, as well as African Americans. Although the amount of black residential segregation seen in America moved downward during the 70s and 80s, it still remained quite high. When you look at the impact of socioeconomic inequality as it is impacting the black community, the data is startling. Even with rising income the segregation is expected to increase the degree of socioeconomic inequality in neighborhoods all over (46).  It is time to focus not only on changing levels of neighborhood inequality but instead on the degree that different racial-ethnic groups can convert their income gains to be equal and equitable with whites and the improved neighborhood living that they get in metropolitan America.

The question is now, how do we get this change to happen? Any issue isn’t going to be resolved overnight, but the process needs to start somewhere. The study of socioeconomic status, race and residential location has a long history in sociology and typically the findings showcase that rising income segregation is expected to increase the degree of socioeconomic inequality amongst the neighborhoods. It has to stop somewhere. The residential structure of metropolitan America has grown more and more complex over the years (57).  There are changes that can be made to reduce racial neighborhood inequalities, but in different ways for different groups and that is the biggest point to realize. The same solution won’t work for different people, so it is imperative that different groups are treated differently in order for conditions to get better. In order to discover more about what is currently going on with this issue, it is important to read what is currently published about this topic in the article below.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments

This post reminded me of a discrimination experiment that took place recently. Our class was separated into two groups according to our eye color. The brown-eyed people were favoured, valued, and had accessed to more resources than blue-eyed people. Even though most of us knew in what kind of experiment we were involved, we still reproduced some behaviours that currently exist.
In our society, many believe that success only depends on one’s will to work hard. However, some people do have to deal with disadvantages that favoured individuals are not aware of. There seems to be an immaterial and invisible line between those who are segregated and those who blindly accept their privileges. They evolve in the same environment without communicating with each other. I believe many people believe some famous stereotypes about different minority groups which “justify” the unfavorable situations in which they live. Breaking that line would be the first step to eliminate segregation. We would also have to decide whether our goal is to attain equality or equity.
The fact that you mention that some groups of individuals are disadvantaged, such as Black Americans, Hispanic people, etc., allows me to make a link between the issue you chose and the concept of white privilege. Indeed, white privilege refers to the idea that white people have accessed to an advantage (social, economic, etc) in society that is not available to all. These privileges are not based on merit: people are born with them or they are not. Therefore, a white person will have an easier time being accepted and valued in different fields of life. Unfortunately, as you mentioned in your article, black people may have difficulties to earn as much money as a white person and to buy a house that is not in a segregated area.

This post’s first paragraph is what incited me to read its entirety as I thought you managed to introduce the issue of the blog properly with the questions you asked concerning the status and living situation of people. This way of introducing captures the readers’ attention and urges us to read the rest of your article in order for these questions to be answered. As I read along, I realized how I had always just acknowledged the fact that there were specific neighborhoods for some “races”, and I found it interesting to learn the underlying reasons for that. It is also very shocking to learn that the degree of socioeconomic inequality for these neighbors will continuously increase as a result of the rising income segregation if we don’t do anything. I agree with you that this has to stop and that the measures taken to insure this have to be adapted to every specific neighborhood. This made me think of the racial prejudices that we discussed in my Myth of Race and Racism class, and the fact that in order for them to be abolished, we as a community need to address them directly and differently (differently in the sense that they vary with the “races”). It is only then that we will come to accept and respect everybody’s culture.

This post made me realize how society in general is not aware or concerned about the problems that minorities face every day and how many think that segregation is not a problem anymore. I did not realize that black people were still facing discrimination when it comes to buy a house which is very surprising to hear. Moreover, it is outrageous to see that we still live in a world where people get discriminated due to their skin colour. There is a reason why people from different “races” are bound to live in poorer neighborhoods and it is because they do not have the same opportunities as others. Many face discriminations when it comes to find a job therefore, they end up having low paying jobs.

What you said about racial segregation made me think of the concept of white privileges, where people are often not aware of them because nobody talks about them. One way to stop white privileges is by talking about it and make people aware that many are not as lucky like for example when it comes to buy their dream house. By making white people realize their privileges and by teaching to young white children that skin colour does not define someone could significantly decrease racial segregation.

This post made me realize how society in general is not aware or concerned about the problems that minorities face every day and how many think that segregation is not a problem anymore. I did not realize that black people were still facing discrimination when it comes to buy a house which is very surprising to hear. Moreover, it is outrageous to see that we still live in a world where people get discriminated due to their skin colour. There is a reason why people from different “races” are bound to live in poorer neighborhoods and it is because they do not have the same opportunities as others. Many face discriminations when it comes to find a job therefore, they end up having low paying jobs.

What you said about racial segregation made me think of the concept of white privileges, where people are often not aware of them because nobody talks about them. One way to stop white privileges is by talking about it and make people aware that many are not as lucky like for example when it comes to buy their dream house. By making white people realize their privileges and by teaching to young white children that skin colour does not define someone could significantly decrease racial segregation.

This post reeled me in because of the title. It reminded me of an introduction from a book that I read for my sociology class. It was called "Sundown Towns" and talked about how segregation in the towns of the United States of America is still prevalent today, and one can notice in some of those towns they are "all-white" and for the most part their income has something to do with it. From your post, I liked how you added questions, it makes it more personal to the reader and gets them intrigued on the topic. I can notice this clearly in the community that I live in. In my town it is not very diverse, and the majority of the population are Caucasian, due in part because of the socioeconomic of the families. I agree with your statement, "The study of socioeconomic status, race and residential location has a long history in sociology and typically the findings showcase that rising income segregation is expected to increase the degree of socioeconomic inequality amongst the neighborhoods." And you are right. It has to stop before it gets worse, I think that one way one can do something to separate the inequality is letting minorities be able to have the same opportunities whites do.
If you want to read about "sundown towns", here is the link to the article: http://sundown.tougaloo.edu/content/sundown-introduction.pdf

There is always an opportunity to improve your status and location regardless of race. My father was the youngest of 8 in a low class Irish home, everything he owned was used by his older brothers. He worked hard and got an education at a great school which led to a very successful job. He also did it without the help of being treated different. If you go out and treat underprivileged African Americans different than white people, or even poor white people, you only create a sense of inferiority which leads to more racism. We need to give capitalism a real chance. Let the economy work the way it is supposed. Will some people get hurt? unfortunately yes, but it is not anyone job to make sure anyone else can be successful, regardless of race. It is also unfair to group all whites into a category of high socioeconomic levels in metropolitan ares when in fact, a majority of people living under the poverty level in America are white. The percentage is larger with African Americans, but the actually number of people is dominated by whites. Treating people differently to help them get ahead or even on level only creates disdain and more segregation.

What drew me in was the topic race and segregation. My reaction wasn't so crazy, I could in a way relate and I felt myself agreeing with some things and other things I was unsure of because I wasn't sure if they were facts or not. Coming from a working class Latino immigrant family and living in an urban area or what people would consider "the ghetto" I can see how some things in this post come into play. I agree with how "Socioeconomic status plays a major role along with race in determining a person’s residential location and their ability to then move from their current status." because generally most immigrant Latino, Asian and African, and even African-American families usually move into multicultural areas and depending on their financial status and stability determines the type of neighborhood they will live in. If they aren't so financially stable chances are they won't even be living in a house but, more like in an apartment or in the projects. Typically in my hometown (Pawtucket & Central Falls, Rhode Island) the immigrant families live in multicultural urban areas in apartments and/or projects because they are usually financially unstable or working class. There are some that live in houses in nice areas but, it's definitely not as much as the general white community. I wouldn't really call it segregation because nobody is telling these multicultural families/communities that they can't live in these nice areas, it really just depends on how much money you make at the end of the day.

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