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Beyond the ghetto: The black middle class and neighborhood attainment

Опубликовано на портале: 19-05-2004
Robert Manual Adelman
Научный руководитель: Stewart E. Tolnay
2001
Организация: State University of New York at Albany (SUNY)
Подтип: PhD
Тематические разделы: Социология, Экономическая социология, Экономическая социология: Социально-экономическая дифференциация. Бедность, Социальная стратификация

Aннотация:
This dissertation offers a fresh exploration into an old subject: racial inequality. By focusing directly on the residential environment of the black middle class, and by employing a number of data sets that incorporate information from 1970 to 1990, I study the neighborhoods of middle-class blacks relative to middle-class whites. Overall, I find that middle-class African Americans have experienced disadvantaged neighborhood conditions compared to middle-class whites throughout the two decades under study. Though this is not necessarily surprising to anyone familiar with the contours of race and ethnic relations in the United States, this is the first empirical study that utilizes aggregate- and individual-level data to analyze the residential outcomes of the black middle class. The major finding at the aggregate- (or tract-) level of analysis is that middle-class blacks were highly segregated from middle-class whites in each year. Like other research on overall black-white residential segregation, the findings also indicate that this middle-class segregation had decreased by 1990, but remained high. Also, the interclass segregation among African Americans was higher than the interclass segregation among whites, especially after 1970. Though the quality (e.g., percent poverty) of the neighborhoods of middle-class blacks improved slightly over time, it did not reach parity with middle-class whites. Also, analyses of neighborhoods per se suggest that majority-black, middle-class neighborhoods were disadvantaged compared to majority-white ones. At the individual level, there are also a number of important findings. First, the results support the “weak” version of the place stratification model in that the effects of human capital characteristics (e.g., income, occupation, education, and home ownership) were generally greater for middle-class blacks relative to middle-class whites across the time frame. Second, the neighborhood outcomes (e.g., percent poverty) of middle-class blacks never reached parity with middle-class whites. However, and third, living in the suburbs did improve the relative residential environment of middle-class blacks compared to living in the central city. Finally, incorporating residential preferences into the analysis of neighborhood attainment suggests that even when middle-class blacks prefer to live in more integrated neighborhoods, they remain in racially isolated settings.

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