How Racial Segregation Contributes to Concentrated Poverty in Minority Communities

Motivation

In the US, members of the white middle class tend to live in common neighborhoods. However, middle-class and low-income blacks take their children to poverty schools, which creates a disparity. According to Massey and Dentron (802), this is a form of racial segregation caused by the traditions and social culture in the US. This phenomenon motivates the need to find the cause of these separations and behaviors

Problem statement

This paper will try to address the problem of inequitable distribution of social and economic development observed between the minority neighborhoods and the upper-class neighborhoods in American urban areas.

The argument is that emergence of racial segregation in neighborhoods across various cities and urban areas in the US in the 20th century has resulted in a myriad of problems.

In particular, there is no equity in the distribution of social and economic resources and access to economic and social development. The minority groups mainly occupy the impoverished areas, which creates concentrated poverty (Karlsen and Nazroo 629). In particular, health, education and economic development are lagging behind in these areas. Evidently, it is difficult to explain how racial segregation contributes to the concentration of poverty in minority communities because there is no law that justifies the existence of these segregations. Therefore, this study seeks to explain “how” and “why” there is a relationship between the two phenomena.

Methods

The proposed research is both qualitative and quantitative review of the existing materials from different studies. The study will involve a detailed analysis of peer-reviewed articles on concentrated poverty and racial segregation published between 2000 and 2013. Keywords will be used to search for information from these sources.

In particular, the research will examine different studies that have attempted to construct the link between racial segregation and increase or existence of concentrated poverty among the minority communities in the country.

Conclusion

Racial segregation contributes to concentrated poverty in minority communities. It affects equal distribution of social and economic development, making the minority occupied areas remain underdeveloped. It affects service delivery, especially in terms of health and education.

Annotated Bibliography

Quillian, Lincoln. “Segregation and poverty concentration: The role of three segregations”. Am Sociol Rev. 77.3 (2012): 354–379. Print

The article is based on the key arguments made in the Massey Model that Massey and Denton developed to explain the relationship between racial segregation and concentration of poverty among the minority groups. Quillian (356) attempts to expand the Massey model by developing a formal decomposition model that elaborates how racial segregation, group rates of poverty as well as other spatial aspects can combine to increase or form the phenomenon of concentrated poverty among the minorities. In this model, Quillian (357) states that factors such as the effect of income on cross-race neighborhoods and the combination of a number of spatial conditions have a significant role in the formation of concentrated poverty. However, Quillian (359) argues that the disproportionate levels of poverty among the non-group neighbors, especially the Hispanics and the blacks, contribute to concentrated poverty.

Williams, David and Chiquitta Collins. “Racial residential segregation: a fundamental cause of racial disparities in health”. Public Health Rep. 116.5, (2011): 4–416. Print.

The authors state that racial segregation leads to racial disparities in the healthcare provision. Races are physically separated from each other in certain areas, which forms an institutional mechanism designed to protect the white majority from interacting with other races (Williams and Collins 414). These authors provide examine the hypothesis that racial segregation causes disparities in access to education, health and employment opportunities. They conclude that racial segregation and concentration of poverty are related. In addition, they argue that confronting segregation is the key to solving the socioeconomic problems associated with racial disparities (Williams and Collins 414).

Massey, Douglas S and Mary J. Fischer. “How segregation concentrates poverty.” Ethnic and racial studies 23.4 (2000): 670-691. Print

In this study, Massey and Fischer (671) argue that the existence of this phenomenon increases the burden on the minority and poor families that live in common areas. In addition, studies have argued that the existence of an area with concentrated poverty has the potential to affect the surrounding areas that do not belong to the poverty class, which ends up limiting the economic and social development in the affected neighborhoods.

Massey, Douglas S. “American apartheid: Segregation and the making of the underclass.” American Journal of Sociology (1993): 329-357. Print

This book was published in early 1990s when the world’s interest was focused on the social, political and economic issues affecting South Africa (thus the use of the word “apartheid”) (Massey 358). The aim was to show the disproportions and disparities between the racial groups in the US in terms of economic and social classes, which defined poverty. The authors argue that segregation tends to interact and combine with the poverty rates among the minority groups, which causes concentrated poverty.

Massey, Douglas S and Nancy A. Denton. “Trends in the residential segregation of Blacks, Hispanics, and Asians: 1970-1980.” American sociological review 6.4 (1997): 802-825. Print

In this article, the authors state that the problem of racial segregation and the consequent concentrated poverty among the minorities are products of the history of the US. For instance, they argue that when the US was still a new world, the levels of segregation between the whites and other non-white groups were relatively low (Massey and Denton 805). They note that before 1900, blacks and whites lived side by side in most cities. Nevertheless, the problem arose in the 20th century due to the integration of the “color line” in the economic system.

Massey, Douglas S, Andrew B. Gross and Mitchell L. Eggers. “Segregation, the concentration of poverty, and the life chances of individuals.” Social Science Research 20.4 (1991): 397-420. Print

In this article, the authors attempt to explain that residential segregation is difficult to curb because the racial change in general is difficult to change. The authors state that private behaviors, racist attitudes and institutional practices are the root causes of the issue (Massey, Gross and Eggers 396). In addition, the authors argue that discrimination in employment was responsible for increasing the poverty among the minority blacks, as well as limiting their ability to integrate economically.

Lichter, Daniel T, Domenico Parisi and Michael C. Taquino. “The geography of exclusion: Race, segregation, and concentrated poverty.” Social Problems 59.3 (2012): 364-388. Print.

The authors base their argument on the results of great economic recession that took place between 2007 and 2010, raising the levels of neighborhood poverty. They refer to a geographic separation, indicating that cities, rural towns and suburbs where economic and political decisions which were tent to exclude the poor and minority groups. Using data from the American community survey of 1005-2009, the authors attempt to prove that the rate of concentrated poverty is rapidly increasing. For instance, they argue that one in every four places in the country has poverty levels exceeding 20% (Lichter, Parisi and Taquino 366). One of the major aspects of this is that poverty levels rise with the increasing rate of racial segregation. The authors provide evidence that most of the areas are getting poorer and those harbor large groups of segregated minorities.

Williams, David R. “Race, socioeconomic status, and health the added effects of racism and discrimination.” Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 896.1 (2009): 173-188. Print.

Williams attempts to describe the impact of racial segregation on concentrated poverty (175). They use disparities in the provision of and access to healthcare services as an indicator of the phenomenon (Williams 181). The authors argue that racial segregation is a major cause of racial disparities in health because the physical separation of groups of people based on races is a mechanism that has isolated the minority groups in low-income areas due to historical background of the society.

Williams, David R and Pamela Braboy Jackson. “Social sources of racial disparities in health.” Health Affairs 24.2 (2005): 325-334. Print

In this study, the authors reviewed evidence from various sources to suggest that racial segregation causes and contributes to the increasing disparities in healthcare provision, which affects the blacks and other minorities (Williams and Jackson 334). Access to education and employment opportunities are affected by the racial segregation and concentration of socio-economic groups in certain residential regions. In turn, access to healthcare is limited in the racially segregated residential areas because the economic and social status is affected.

Works Cited

Karlsen, Saffron and James Y. Nazroo. “Relation between racial discrimination, social class, and health among ethnic minority groups.” American journal of public health 92.4 (2002): 624-631. Print

Lichter, Daniel T, Domenico Parisi and Michael C. Taquino. “The geography of exclusion: Race, segregation, and concentrated poverty.” Social Problems 59.3 (2012): 364-388. Print

Massey, Douglas S and Mary J. Fischer. “How segregation concentrates poverty.” Ethnic and racial studies 23.4 (2000): 670-691. Print

Massey, Douglas S and Nancy A. Denton. “Trends in the residential segregation of Blacks, Hispanics, and Asians: 1970-1980.” American sociological review 6.4 (1997): 802-825. Print

Massey, Douglas S, Andrew B. Gross and Mitchell L. Eggers. “Segregation, the concentration of poverty, and the life chances of individuals.” Social Science Research 20.4 (1991): 397-420. Print

Massey, Douglas S. “American apartheid: Segregation and the making of the underclass.” American Journal of Sociology (1993): 329-357. Print

Quillian, Lincoln. “Segregation and poverty concentration: The role of three segregations”. Am Sociol Rev. 77.3 (2012): 354–379. Print

Williams, David and Chiquitta Collins. “Racial residential segregation: a fundamental cause of racial disparities in health”. Public Health Rep. 116.5, (2011): 4–416. Print

Williams, David R and Pamela Braboy Jackson. “Social sources of racial disparities in health.” Health Affairs 24.2 (2005): 325-334. Print

Williams, David R. “Race, socioeconomic status, and health the added effects of racism and discrimination.” Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 896.1 (2009): 173-188. Print.