Black Ethnicity and Rethinking Assimilation Theories: A Multilevel Analysis of Housing Values Among and Between Whites and Native- and Foreign-Born Blacks in the U.S

Thursday, July 17, 2014: 3:30 PM
Room: 422
Oral Presentation
Lori MARTIN , Sociology & African and African American Studies, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA
Nile PATTERSON , Louisiana State University
Mark SCHAFER , Louisiana State University
Black-white residential segregation is still a reality in America.  Research shows black homeowners are more segregated from white homeowners than black renters are from white renters. The findings have been interpreted to mean blacks do not benefit as much from home ownership because home ownership does not lead to greater access to white space. Implicit in this interpretation is the mistaken belief blacks ultimately desire residency in white neighborhoods and home ownership in said neighborhoods is evidence of the completion of the assimilation process. Focusing almost exclusively on home ownership as an indicator of assimilation is inadequate.  To accurately understand whether blacks are assimilating, housing values must be analyzed. If blacks are assimilating the gap between them and the dominant racial group should decrease over time. Using census-based data for the past few decades, the present study examines the following research questions:  1. Are there racial disparities in housing values for blacks and whites and how have they changed over time? 2. Are the racial disparities larger or smaller between whites and foreign-born blacks or between whites and native-born blacks? 3. What social and demographic variables account for the variations in housing values by race and by ethnicity? 4. What are the theoretical and methodological implications of the study findings?