1. Segregation in your hometown
Student Activity: In Social Explorer, use the FIND tool to locate your hometown. In the second drop down menu, select “Race,” and look at the population of each race category in the third drop down menu. (Click here for detailed instructions on using the maps, or here for a video tutorial.) Try zooming in or out to see different perspectives. What patterns do you see as you select different racial groups? Do you see evidence of segregation? of diverse populations living together? What is the evidence? Make your observations as specific as possible.
Discussion: Here are some discussion questions for groups during this activity:
- Compare levels of diversity in different neighborhoods in your hometown. Is your hometown segregated?
- How are you defining segregation?
- What does segregation “look like” on the map?
Reading: Hypersegregation in the 21st Century (Wilkes & Iceland, 2004) (accessible through JSTOR)
Wilkes and Iceland state that segregation is a “multifacted social phenomena.” Their research considers multiple dimensions of residential patterns to determine whether commmunities are “hypersegregated.” While their research finds that hypersegregation has decreased in the past decade, Wilkes and Iceland argue that hypersegregation still “warrants continued attention.”
Class Discussion: Here are some discussion questions for this reading:
- How would you describe the differences among the five dimensions of segregation - evenness, exposure, concentration, clustering, and centralization?
- What is the difference between segregation and “hypersegregation?”
- When the authors “controlled for factors such as income, nativity, region, and economic activity, [they], found that blacks continued to be significantly more segregated than Hispanics (and Native Americans)…” What does this suggest about the nature of segregation in urban areas?
- Given the information presented in the article, how would you define the problem of segregation?
What might Wilkes and Iceland say about the patterns of segregation you identified in your hometown?
Extension Activity: What is a policy that has been implemented in your hometown to address issues of segregation? What would Wilkes & Iceland say about this policy? Does it address the issues they raise in their article? If yes, how so? If no, what issues did the policy overlook, according to the material presented in the article?