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

by nnolting on Novembre 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.  








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