REGIONAL DIFFERENCES IN AFFLUENT BLACK AND AFFLUENT WHITE RESIDENTIAL OUTCOMES
Geographical Review 106(1)
Ron Malega, Rebecca Y. Stallings
American Geographical Society: What is the main purpose of your study?
Ron Malega: We compared the residential outcomes of affluent black and affluent white households in terms of residential segregation and neighborhood quality.
American Geographical Society: What are the practical, day to day implications of your study?
Ron Malega: Our research provides an alternative way of measuring affluence than what has been used in related studies. We also develop a composite measure of neighborhood quality.
American Geographical Society: How does your study relate to other work on the subject?
Ron Malega: Our study relates to the residential segregation and neighborhood (or locational) attainment literature. More generally, it relates to scholarship in urban social geography, race/ethnicity, and social equity.
American Geographical Society: What are two or three interesting findings that come from your study?
Ron Malega: We found that affluent black households were highly segregated from their white economic peers and that, on average, affluent black households lived in substantively lower quality neighborhoods than affluent white households over the entire study period. We also found segregation and neighborhood quality outcomes varied by region of the country.
American Geographical Society: What might be some of the theoretical implications of this study?
Ron Malega: One implication is that more nuanced measures of neighborhood quality need to be developed to evaluate processes of neighborhood sorting and equality in neighborhood outcomes, especially ones that do no privilege (racially) white spaces as good spaces. Another implication is that studies of affluence should be included in our conversation and understanding of residential geography.
American Geographical Society: How does your research help us think about Geography?
Ron Malega: Our research reinforces that place matters for our understanding of segregation and neighborhood quality. For example, affluent black households, on average, negotiate very different residential geographies in certain regions of the country than in others. We also speculated that the South may play an important role in the geographical imagination of the African-American community and as a place needs to be better incorporated our theorizing about their residential geography.
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