Sharing America's Neighborhoods: The Prospects for Stable Racial Integration

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Harvard University Press, Jun 30, 2009 - Social Science - 240 pages
The first part of this book presents a fresh and encouraging report on the state of racial integration in America's neighborhoods. It shows that while the majority are indeed racially segregated, a substantial and growing number are integrated, and remain so for years. Still, many integrated neighborhoods do unravel quickly, and the second part of the book explores the root causes. Instead of panic and white flight causing the rapid breakdown of racially integrated neighborhoods, the author argues, contemporary racial change is driven primarily by the decision of white households not to move into integrated neighborhoods when they are moving for reasons unrelated to race. Such white avoidance is largely based on the assumptions that integrated neighborhoods quickly become all black and that the quality of life in them declines as a result. The author concludes that while this explanation may be less troubling than the more common focus on racial hatred and white flight, there is still a good case for modest government intervention to promote the stability of racially integrated neighborhoods. The final chapter offers some guidelines for policymakers to follow in crafting effective policies.

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1 Introduction
2 The Extent and Stability of Racial Integration in the Contemporary United States
3 Toward a Theory of Racial Change
4 Correlates of Racial Stability
5 Racial Composition and Neighborhood Satisfaction
6 Race Neighborhood and the Decision to Move
7 Racial Composition and Neighborhood Choice
8 Conclusions and Policy Implications

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About the author (2009)

Ingrid Gould Ellen is Assistant Professor, Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, New York University.

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