Skip to main content
×
Home

MULTIETHNIC NEIGHBORHOODS ON THE GROUND: Resources, Constraints, and Sense of Community

  • Emily Walton (a1) and Mae Hardebeck (a2)
Abstract
Abstract

As our nation and our neighborhoods increasingly diversify, we should understand how to sustain integrated communities that are equally beneficial for all residents. Though our policies encourage diversity as a theoretical social good, we actually know little about what happens on the ground in multiethnic neighborhoods. We conduct a comparative case study of the only two Boston neighborhoods to have maintained at least 10% representation of four racial and ethnic groups over the past two decades. Using survey data and ethnographic field observations, we examine residents’ experiences in these two consistently multiethnic, yet very different, neighborhoods. We find that neighborhood socioeconomic and racial inequality and disadvantage matter for residents’ access to neighborhood resources and constraints, and their perceptions of sense of community. Notably, in the highly unequal South End, Whites and homeowners have greater access to amenities and have higher perceptions of sense of community in comparison to racial and ethnic minorities and renters. Socioeconomic disadvantage matters in Fields Corner, as evidenced by lower overall perceptions of sense of community and greater exposure to safety concerns among all groups in this neighborhood compared to residents of the South End. In the end, we argue that having multiple groups simply sharing neighborhood space over a stable period is not enough to overcome the social problems associated with residential segregation and isolation. In order to support equitable neighborhood integration amid the changing face of diversity, we should take cues from “diverse by direction” neighborhood models that include active organization and coalition building among dissimilar racial and ethnic groups.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      MULTIETHNIC NEIGHBORHOODS ON THE GROUND
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      MULTIETHNIC NEIGHBORHOODS ON THE GROUND
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      MULTIETHNIC NEIGHBORHOODS ON THE GROUND
      Available formats
      ×
Copyright
Corresponding author
* Corresponding author: Professor Emily Walton, Department of Sociology, Dartmouth College, 6104 Silsby Hall, Hanover, NH 03755. E-mail: emily.c.walton@dartmouth.edu
References
Hide All
Abascal Maria, and Baldassarri Delia (2015). Love Thy Neighbor? Ethnoracial Diversity and Trust Reexamined. American Journal of Sociology, 121(3): 722782.
Adelman Robert M., and Mele Christopher (2015). Race, Space, and Exclusion: Segregation and Beyond in Metropolitan America. New York: Routledge.
Alesina Alberto, and Ferrara Eliana La (2000). Participation in Heterogeneous Communities. The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 115(3): 847904.
Allport Gordon (1954). The Nature of Prejudice. New York: Addison-Wesley.
Anderson Elijah (2011). The Cosmopolitan Canopy: Race and Civility in Everyday Life. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.
Anderson Elizabeth (2010). The Imperative of Integration. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Bailey Nick, Kearns Ade, and Livingston Mark (2012). Place Attachment in Deprived Neighbourhoods: Teh Impacts of Population Turnover and Social Mix. Housing Studies, 27(2): 208231.
Briggs Xavier de Souza (2005). Politics and Policy: Changing the Geography of Opportunity. In Briggs Xavier de Souza (Ed.), The Geography of Opportunity: Race and Housing Choice in Metropolitan America, pp. 310341. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press.
Cattell Vicky (2004). Having a Laugh and Mucking Together: Using Social Capital to Explore Dynamics between Structure and Agency in the Context of Declining and Regenerated Neighbourhoods. Sociology, 38(5): 945963.
Charles Camille Zubrinsky (2000). Neighborhood Racial Composition Preferences: Evidence from a Multiethnic Metropolis. Social Problems, 47: 379407.
Costa Dora L., and Kahn Matthew E. (2003). Civic Engagement and Community Heterogeneity: An Economist’s Perspective. Perspectives on Politics, 1(1): 103111.
Crowder Kyle, Pais Jeremy, and South Scott J. (2012). Neighborhood Diversity, Metropolitan Constraints, and Household Migration. American Sociological Review, 77(3): 325353.
Cutchin Malcolm P., Eschbach Karl, Mair Christine A., Ju Hyunsu, and Goodwin James S. (2011). The Socio-Spatial Neighborhood Estimation Method: An Approach to Operationalizing the Neighborhood Concept. Health & Place, 17(5): 11131121.
Du Bois W. E. B. (1899). The Philadelphia Negro. Philadelphia, PA: The University of Pennsylvania.
Du Bois W. E. B. (2007 [1899]). The Philadelphia Negro: A Social Study, Edited by Louis Gates Henry Jr. New York: Oxford University Press.
Ellen Ingrid Gould (2000). Sharing America’s Neighborhoods: The Prospects for Stable Racial Integration. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Fainstein Susan S. (2005). Cities and Diversity: Should We Want It? Can We Plan for It? Urban Affairs Review, 41(1): 319.
Fasenfest David, Booza Jason, and Metzger Kurt (2004). Living Together: A New Look at Racial and Ethnic Integration in Metropolitan Neighborhoods, 1990–2000 . Washington, DC: The Brookings Institution, Center on Urban and Metropolitan Policy.
Fong Eric, and Shibuya Kumiko (2005). Multiethnic Cities in North America. Annual Review of Sociology, 31: 285304.
Freeman Lance (2006). There Goes the ‘Hood: Views of Gentrification from the Ground Up. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press.
Frey William H. (1996). Immigration, Domestic Migration, and Demographic Balkanization in America: New Evidence for the 1990s. Population and Development Review, 22(4): 741763.
Friedman Samantha (2008). Do Declines in Residential Segregation Mean Stable Neighborhood Racial Integration in Metropolitan America? A Research Note. Social Science Research, 37: 920933.
Glaeser Edward, and Vigdor Jacob (2012). The End of the Segregated Century: Racial Separation in America’s Neighborhoods 1890–2010 . Cambridge, MA: Center for State and Local Leadership at the Manhattan Institute.
Green James (1975). The South End. Boston, MA: Boston 200 Neighborhood Series.
Greif Meredith (2015). The Intersection of Homeownership, Race and Neighbourhood Context: Implications for Neighbourhood Satisfaction. Urban Studies, 52(1): 5070.
Guest Avery M., Kubrin Charis E., and Cover Jane K. (2008). Heterogeneity and Harmony: Neighbouring Relationships among Whites in Ethnically Diverse Neighborhoods in Seattle. Urban Studies, 45(3): 501526.
hooks bell (2003). Teaching Community: A Pedagogy of Hope. New York: Routledge.
Horton John (1995). The Politics of Diversity. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press.
Jacobs Jane (2011 [1961]). The Death and Life of Great American Cities, 50th Anniversary Edition. New York: Modern Library.
Keating W. Dennis (1994). The Suburban Racial Dilemma: Housing and Neighborhoods. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press.
Kennedy Lawrence W. (1992). Planning the City Upon a Hill: Boston Since 1630. Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press.
King Martin Luther Jr. (1986). The Ethical Demands for Integration. In Washington J. M. (Ed.), A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches of Martin Luther King, Jr. pp. 117125. San Francisco, CA: Harper & Row.
Kleit Rachel Garshick (2005). HOPE VI New Communities: Neighborhood Relationships in Mixed-Income Housing. Environment and Planning A, 37: 14131441.
Kornhauser Ruth Rosner (1978). Social Sources of Delinquency: An Appraisal of Analytic Models. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
Krysan Maria, Farley Reynolds, Couper Mick P., and Forman Tyrone A. (2009). Does Race Matter in Neighborhood Preferences? Results from a Video Experiment. American Journal of Sociology, 115: 527559.
Laurence James (2011). The Effect of Ethnic Diversity and Community Disadvantage on Social Cohesion: A Multi-Level Analysis of Social Capital and Interethnic Relations in UK Communities. European Sociological Review, 27(1): 7089.
Lee Barrett A., and Hughes Lauren A. (2014). Bucking the Trend: Is Ethnoracial Diversity Declining in American Communities? Population Research and Policy Review, 34(1): 113139.
Letki Natalia (2008). Does Diversity Erode Social Cohesion? Social Capital and Race in British Neighbourhoods. Political Studies, 56: 99126.
Lewis Amanda E., Diamond John B., and Forman Tyrone A. (2015). Conundrums of Integration: Desegregation in the Context of Racialized Hierarchy. Sociology of Race & Ethnicity, 1(1): 2236.
Lichter Daniel T. (2013). Integration or Fragmentation? Racial Diversity and the American Future. Demography, 50: 359391.
Logan John R., and Stults Brian J. (2011). The Persistence of Segregation in the Metropolis: New Findings from the 2010 Census . Providence, RI: Russell Sage Foundation American Communities Project of Brown University.
Logan John R., and Zhang Charles (2010). Global Neighborhoods: New Pathways to Diversity and Separation. American Journal of Sociology, 115(4): 10691109.
Maly Michael T. (2005). Beyond Segregation: Multiracial and Multiethnic Neighborhoods in the United States. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press.
Massey Douglas S., and Denton Nancy A. (1993). American Apartheid: Segregation and the Making of the Underclass. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Massey Douglas S. (2016). Residential Segregation is the Linchpin of Racial Stratification. City & Community, 15(1): 47.
Mayorga-Gallo Sarah (2014). Behind the White Picket Fence: Power and Privilege in a Multiethnic Neighborhood. Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press.
McMillan David W., and Chavis David M. (1986). Sense of Community: A Definition and Theory. Journal of Community Psychology, 25(6): 623.
Mennis Jeremy, Dayanim Suzanne Lashner, and Grunwald Heidi (2013). Neighborhood Collective Efficacy and Dimensions of Diversity: A Multilevel Analysis. Environment and Planning A, 45: 21762193.
Miller Elizabeth A. (2015). Cultivating and Unexpected Community: Inclusivity of Immigrant Service Workers in a Wealthy Neighborhood. Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, 44(3): 335361.
Neal Zachary P., and Neal Jennifer Watling (2014). The (In)compatibility of Diversity and Sense of Community. American Journal of Community Psychology, 53: 112.
Nyden Philip, Lukehart John, Maly Michael T., and Peterman William (1998). Neighborhood Racial and Ethnic Diversity in U.S. Cities. Cityscape: A Journal of Policy Development and Research, 4(2): 117.
Pager Devah, and Shepherd Hana (2008). The Sociology of Discrimination: Racial Discrimination in Employment, Housing, Credit, and Consumer Markets. Annual Review of Sociology, 34: 181209.
Parisi Domenico, Lichter Daniel T., and Taquino Michael C. (2015). The Buffering Hypothesis: Growing Diversity and Declining Black-White Segregation in America’s Cities, Suburbs, and Small Towns? Sociological Science, 2: 125157.
Passel Jeffrey S., and Cohn D’Vera (2008). U.S. Population Projections: 2005–2050 . Washington, DC: Pew Research Center.
Pettigrew Thomas F. (1979). Racial Change and Social Policy. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 441: 114131.
Portes Alejandro, and Vickstrom Erik (2011). Diversity, Social Capital, and Cohesion. Annual Review of Sociology, 37: 461479.
Putnam Robert D. (2007). E Pluribus Unum: Diversity and Community in the Twenty-first Century. Scandinavian Political Studies, 30(2): 137174.
Reskin Barbara (2012). The Race Discrimination System. Annual Review of Sociology, 38: 1735.
Ryan Camille L., and Siebens Julie (2012). Educational Attainment in the United States: 2009 . Washington, DC: U.S. Census Bureau.
Saltman Juliet (1990). A Fragile Movement: The Struggle for Neighborhood Stabilization. New York: Greenwood Press.
Sampson Robert J., and Byron Groves W. (1989). Community Structure and Crime: Testing Social-Disorganization Theory. American Journal of Sociology, 94(4): 774802.
Sen Amartya (2002). Why Health Equity? Health Economics, 11: 659666.
Squires Gregory D., and Kubrin Charis E. (2005). Privileged Places: Race, Uneven Development, and the Geography of Opportunity in Urban America. Urban Studies, 42: 4768.
Sturgis Patrick, Brunton-Smith Ian, Read Sanna, and Allum Nick (2010). Does Ethnic Diversity Erode Trust? Putnam’s ‘Hunkering Down’ Thesis Reconsidered. British Journal of Political Science, 41(1): 5782.
Tach Laura M. (2014). Diversity, Inequality, and Microsegregation: Dynamics of Inclusion and Exclusion in a Racially and Economically Diverse Community. Cityscape: A Journal of Policy Development and Research, 16(3): 1345.
The Congress for the New Urbanism (2000). Principles for Inner City Neighborhood Design: HOPE VI and the New Urbanism . San Francisco, CA: A Collaboration of the Congress for the New Urbanism and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Timberlake Jeffrey, and Iceland John (2007). Change in Racial and Ethnic Residential Inequality in American Cities, 1970–2000. City and Community, 6: 335365.
Tissot Silvie (2015). Good Neighbors: Gentrifying Diversity in Boston’s South End. New York: Verso.
Townley Greg, Kloos Bret, Green Eric P., and Franco Margarita M. (2011). Reconcilable Differences? Human Diversity, Cultural Relativity, and Sense of Community. American Journal of Community Psychology, 47: 6985.
Turner Margery Austin (1998). Moving out of Poverty: Expanding Mobility and Choice through Tenant-Based Housing Assistance. Housing Policy Debate, 9(2): 373394.
Watanabe Paul (2009). The Rebirth of Fields Corner: Vietnamese Immigrant Entrepreneurs and the Revitalizaiton of a Boston Neighborhood. Western New England Law Review, 31: 781795.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Du Bois Review: Social Science Research on Race
  • ISSN: 1742-058X
  • EISSN: 1742-0598
  • URL: /core/journals/du-bois-review-social-science-research-on-race
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords:

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 22
Total number of PDF views: 325 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 382 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 26th October 2016 - 19th November 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.