Two Competing Concepts of Residential Integration
Chapter from "Social Equity in a Time of Change: A Critical 21st Century Social Movement", ed. Richard Greggory Johnson III, Forthcoming
21 Pages Posted: 10 May 2017 Last revised: 21 Jun 2017
Date Written: 2017
The chapters in this edited volume were written by academics and practitioners who gave presentations at the Social Equity Leadership Conference held at the University of San Francisco in 2016.
This book chapter identifies two popular--but competing--concepts of residential integration, demonstrates their distinct practical consequences, and calls for a frank conversation among social equity activists regarding which concept do we want to pursue.
One concept, dubbed the “traditional integration model,” concerns the nature or quality of a community. It focuses on the complexion of a community as a geographical unit and the social relationships among members of different income groups or racial groups within it. This concept asks: Who lives there and how do they relate to each other?
The second concept, “the individual access to the opportunity structure model,” focuses on how the physical location of a household relates to the opportunity structure of a community (e.g. good schools, good jobs, decent shopping, healthy neighborhoods). The primary focus of this model is maximizing the access of new residents to opportunities so that they can improve their lives. It does not inquire into the relationships among the members of the households who live in a community, but rather on the economic and social success of the individuals and families.
Keywords: residential integration, social equity, traditional integration model, community, social relationships, race, individual access to the opportunity structure model, access to opportunities, individuals, families
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation