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HAS EXURBAN GROWTH ENABLED GREATER RACIAL EQUITY IN NEIGHBORHOOD QUALITY? EVIDENCE FROM THE LOS ANGELES REGION

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ABSTRACT:  A wealth of data drawn from cities and their nearby suburbs show that, consistent with place stratification theory, African Americans live in poorer quality communities than similarly affluent members of other racial groups. Yet, few have examined whether these trends are playing out in the rapidly growing exurbs, places that emerged in the post‐Civil Rights era. Through a case study of African American migration to Los Angeles's exurban Inland Empire, this article tests the applicability of place stratification theory by triangulating evidence from interviews with 70 movers with U.S. Census and American Community Survey data. Both sources reveal that the gap in neighborhood conditions among similar income racial groups is much narrower in the exurbs than inner city Los Angeles or its nearby suburbs, an outcome that participants attributed to the region's rapid housing construction, relative lack of a history of who lives where, and resulting neighborhood diversity.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Arizona State University

Publication date: 2012-10-01

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