Perceived Discrimination and Neighborhood Racial Composition among Black, White and Latino Young Adults in Chicago

Daniel Herda, University of California, Davis

This study explores the relationship between perceived discrimination and neighborhood racial context among black, white and Latino young adults using the Project for Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods. Results indicate that all groups perceive discrimination in their everyday lives. These perceptions are reduced as the proportion of coracial neighbors increases following predictions based on the contact hypothesis. Among blacks and Latinos these reductions are moderate to non-existent, suggesting that neighborhood racial context may not be as important for minority populations as suggested by previous literature. Surprisingly, whites’ perceptions are the most sensitive to fluctuations in neighborhood racial composition. Whites also perceive more discrimination than blacks or Latinos when whites are small minorities in their neighborhoods (less than 25%). Findings suggest that perceptions of discrimination among whites may constitute an additional obstacle for residential racial integration on top of the more often studied racial prejudice.

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Presented in Session 164: Racial/Ethnic Segregation and Discrimination