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

Maria Krysan, University of Illinois at Chicago

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 this may constitute one barrier to integrative mobility. We address three questions: (1) Are there racial/ethnic differences in community knowledge? (2) Do these differences in knowledge level vary by community racial composition? (3) Can these differences be explained by controlling for the social class characteristics of respondent and community? 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 and other characteristics. Initial results show a strong effect of racial composition even after controlling for other characteristics.

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Presented in Session 147: Residential Choice and Segregation