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Curriculum Vitae

Racial Blind Spots: Black-White-Latino Differences in Community Knowledge (2009)

Maria Krysan and Michael D. M. Bader
Social Problems, volume 56 issue 4, pp. 677-701
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Abstract.

This paper explores racial differences in community knowledge as a possible mechanism through which racial residential segregation is perpetuated. If whites, blacks, and Latinos are familiar with different communities and that familiarity is influenced by community racial composition, then these “blind spots” may constitute one barrier to integrative mobility. We address three questions: (1) Do blacks, whites and Latinos, have different community “blind spots”?; (2) Do blacks, whites, and Latinos of the same social and economic backgrounds still have different “blind spots”?; and (3) Do the racial/ethnic characteristics of the community predict a racial/ethnic difference in “blind spots,” net of the respondent’s and community’s other characteristics? Employing hierarchical linear models with data from the 2004 Chicago Area Study, we explore how whites, blacks, and Latinos differ in their knowledge of actual communities in the Chicago metropolitan area and whether differences persist after controlling for social class characteristics. Results show strong evidence that community knowledge is shaped by race—both of the resident and of the target community. Results show strong evidence that community knowledge is shaped by race both of the resident and of the target community. Policy implications of the results are also discussed.