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Curriculum Vitae

Structuring Spatial Segregation through Place-Based Stigma (2012)

Michael D. M. Bader Presented at the Choosing Homes, Choosing Schools Miniconference at Eastern Sociological Society, New York, New York.


Racial residential segregation continues to shape metropolitan inequality between blacks and whites almost 50 years after passage of the Fair Housing Act in 1968. Attempting to explain the perpetuation of racial residential segregation in American metropolitan areas, many sociologists point to racially-biased residential preferences that find support for the influence of race in residential preferences and mobility. These studies often fail to account for racially-correlated community factors for which race might ``proxy'', particularly the educational quality and crime rate, that might lead researchers to conclude racial factors exist where they do not. In addition, though qualitative research and developing theory highlighting the combined importance of racial and class identity, no representative studies investigate racial residential preferences by social class. In this study, I address the question of residential mobility by mapping the perceptions Chicago area residents hold of communities throughout the metropolitan area. Based on unique data from the 2004-5 Chicago Area Study, I evaluate the role of crime, schools and demographic characteristics on respondents’ residential preferences of 41 communities in the Chicago metropolitan area. I find that avoidance plays a stronger role than preference and that the influence of race and ethnicity on both community preferences and community avoidance varies substantially across social class.