Whites’ Residential Preferences in a Multi-Ethnic Context: Likes, Dislikes, and the Reasons Why

Maria Krysan, University of Illinois at Chicago
Courtney Carter, University of Illinois at Chicago
Marieke Van Londen, Radboud University Nijmegen

Scholarship on racial residential preferences has increasingly focused on identifying factors that shape preferences (e.g., race/class; ethnocentrism/prejudice) and better-measuring preferences in our increasingly racially/ethnically diverse nation. This paper contributes to these efforts by reporting an extension of Charles’ (2006) multi-ethnic measure of preferences in which we asked a random sample of white householders to (1) draw their most and least desired neighborhood racial composition; (2) include Arab Americans among the possible neighbors; and (3) explain, in their own words, why they liked/disliked the neighborhood they drew. We use two-step cluster analysis, logistic regression, and open-ended coding techniques to: (1) create a typology of the most/least desired neighborhoods; (2) identify their socio-demographic correlates; and (3) analyze respondent's explanations for the neighborhoods they drew. Results for the “most desired” neighborhood suggest a superficial commitment to the norm of diversity, while the “least desired” results point to our nation’s persistent racial hierarchy.

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Presented in Session 164: Racial/Ethnic Segregation and Discrimination