*Today is June 19, also known as Juneteenth, the day of the formal proclamation of the freedom of all slaves in the former Confederate state of Texas by United States General Gordon Granger. The issue of racial tension and the quest for liberation from bondage, then segregation, is part of the American story—good and bad—and has been the subject of many studies, academic and popular, throughout the centuries. Andrew Lawrence Crown, a contributor at VOEGELINVIEW, wrote his 1993 MA thesis at the University of Chicago dealing with a residual legacy of slavery and racism in the United States. It is republished here with permission and on this special occasion as a reminder of the ongoing work toward building a more perfect union, a concern that all Americans should have, and for future research purposes.
M.A. Thesis Paper of Andrew Lawrence Crown
Written while Mr. Crown was a student in The Department of Political Science
The University of Chicago
Degree awarded December, 1993
Meaning is something signified by a word or something one wishes to convey, especially by language. People convey meaning through language, but language is not to be conceived as something which conveys meaning in itself. Language is a highly developed system of symbols. “Meaning is not an inherent property of symbols; it is a result of their use in particular contexts.” When people talk about race relations they convey, through language, meaning or meanings which I will refer to as racial meaning or racial meanings. Meanings are in society and therefore in people. Racial meanings reflect what is taking place in society and in the “real” or external and material world of race relations. However, the racial meanings that people convey through language are not mere reflections of race relations. These meanings are also involved in the perpetuation of the economic inequality and discrimination which have characterized American race relations.
Using face to face interviews with employers, social scientists have studied how employers use the meaning of “Black inner city underclass,” a concept representing the intersection between racial, class, and spatial categories, to screen out Black inner city job applicants in an attempt to distinguish good from bad workers. In Canarsie, New York, an increase in verbalized and other outward displays of racism and prejudice among Jews with a history of urbanism and liberalism both reflected and resulted in changes in sociological, economic, and political contexts. The changes in the very labels people use to talk about race reflect broader societal changes and contests over meaning. The use of the term “African-American” initiated by Black leaders has made inroads among the general Black population, but Whites have been more likely than Blacks to favor the established term “Black,” over “African-American.” Each change in racial labels, from Colored to Negro to Black to African-American, can be seen as an attempt by Blacks to gain respect and standing through self-definition.
Often, to talk about Black-White race relations in America is to talk about politics. This is apparent whenever we casually observe people discussing some aspect of American race relations as if it were a controversial political issue. Such observations should not surprise us. American race relations have long involved the struggle of Black Americans to gain political rights in order to protect themselves from arbitrary violence. Race relations in the United States are political, even according to a narrow definition of politics as, striving to share power or striving to influence the distribution of power, either among states or among groups within a state, where a state is the human community that successfully claims a monopoly over the legitimate use of physical force. The political nature of America’s race problem arises from the fact that Blacks were, from the very beginning of American Democracy, excluded from the political system. In a nation which aspires to great ideals through its political system, the exclusion of Blacks from that system has led to recurrent spiritual and moral crises. “Mental contradiction and moral contradiction have been the price which the United States has paid again and again for refusing to face the problem of its Negro population.”
In order to study the racial meanings conveyed when people talk about race as if it were a political issue, one could analyze political speeches or media messages which explicitly and implicitly convey the racial ideologies that the elite communicate to the masses through language. Language is sign and symbol, and if the study of politics is the study of influence and the influential, then symbol is the method of the influential elite, and propaganda is the political language par excellence. “By the use of sanctioned words and gestures the elite elicits blood, work, taxes, applause, from the masses.” If the science of politics is the science of power, then the language of politics is the language of power and decision. “It is battle cry, verdict and sentence, statute, ordinance and rule, oath of office, controversial news, comment and debate.”
The language of politics is often best conceptualized as something decisively disseminated from “above.” However, when people talk about politics, race and politics included, they do not always simply passively receive and regurgitate the symbols and messages disseminated by the elite. When people talk about politics with one another they negotiate the meanings of the competing symbols and messages disseminated through such channels as the mass media. Politics is not limited to the topics on the agendas of the elite. When talking about politics, people use their own experiences as guides to thinking about what is fair. Talk about race can be talk about politics, especially when the topic of discussion is racial stratification. American society is racially stratified. Not every racial and ethnic group has attained the same level of economic status. Racial stratification is an aspect of race relations which should confront Americans of all races with the political question – Who gets what, when, how?
In-depth interviews enable one to study how people talk about racial stratification. Although surveys of large numbers of respondents allow social scientists to make generalizations about the general population, during surveys it is difficult to delve deeply into the thoughts that people have. By allowing people to explain what their responses mean, in-depth interviews fill in the gaps left by survey research and provide qualitative data that surveys are unable to produce. “If we want to understand how people make sense of the world of politics, we need to spend more time talking to people about that world.” A chief advantage of in-depth interviews is that they can be discursive. Because respondents can ramble and follow their own trains of thought during in-depth interviews, the researcher can gain insight into the connotative meanings of words and phrases, follow the course of associative thinking, and illuminate the mechanisms of argument and evasion employed by respondents in dealing with sensitive political material. In-depth interviewing can also generate findings that survey research does not. Where surveys find only unexplained variance, in-depth interviews may find results because they allow respondents to explain their response and thereby point out relationships among variables which researchers may not expect to find or even imagine as possible.
I have constructed the following in-depth interview response from a series of in-depth interviews which a graduate student undertook in the winter of 1993 with Whites, primarily of Russian ethnicity, who have resided in South Shore. South Shore is a community area in Chicago where racial residential succession from White to Black occurred during the 1960s and 1970s. The individuals whose interviews I focused on in constructing the response all resided in South Shore prior to the time of racial succession. The constructed response supports the strongest argument of my thesis: talk about racial stratification conveys a convergence of responsibility and racial meaning.
Every now and then, particularly when I am with relatives or friends of mine who lived in South Shore when I did, we talk about South Shore. We talk about the friends we had, and all the places we used to go to together, like to the beach, the park, and the shops in the area. Sometimes I get kind of nostalgic. Even though South Shore was in the city of Chicago, it had a warm and friendly community feel to it when I lived there in the fifties. People felt safe living there. It was a white middle-class and upper middle-class community. In the Jackson Park Highlands, you had very nice homes and very well-off families.
These days it’s different. South Shore is a Black neighborhood now. I don’t think you can call all of South Shore a middle-class neighborhood anymore. There is more crime and more of the types of problems you get when there aren’t enough middle-class people around. In some parts of South Shore I think life is terrible. In these parts of South Shore, where you have more poor people, I think they are having serious gang problems, drug problems, and crime problems. We never had those kinds of problems. If there was a fight, maybe like a fight between some rough types at South Shore High school, well, then they fought with their fists. Today you’re liable to get shot and killed by a thug if you say the wrong thing to the wrong guy in South Shore.
There was a man I knew from work who lives in South Shore. Where this man lives, it’s more or less middle class. It’s not as nice as the Jackson Park Highlands, but this man has a good white collar job. He works very hard and makes enough money to own a home. He keeps it in pretty good shape. When people own their homes they have more incentives than apartment dwellers to maintain their homes in decent shape. You have to want to maintain your neighborhood in decent shape if you want to live in a nice neighborhood. I imagine it’s not completely safe in the neighborhood where this man lives because I’m sure they get elements coming in there from other parts of South Shore. Unfortunately, these types who are just looking for trouble are always nearby. They make life hard for the Black people in South Shore who are like this man.
There are people I know from the neighborhood who have been near there for one reason or another. Some of them have gone back there to drive around the area and see what the neighborhood looks like. Driving through the areas in South Shore where you have middle-class Blacks homeowners, and especially driving through the Jackson Park Highlands, it’s not like you see the deterioration and blight of the inner city. The middle-class Blacks in South Shore care about educating the children and passing on a better life for the next generation, so they are not causing the problems in South Shore. I’m sure the middle-class people in South Shore are terrified of the crime in the city just like everyone is. In the parts of South Shore where there are some of the problems they have in the ghetto, no one tells you from day one, “You are going to learn how to behave, you must graduate high school, and you will improve yourself.” The Black people living in the inner city are stuck there in poverty because they’re hanging out on the corner buying, selling, and taking drugs. You really can’t do anything to help those people with welfare or any kind of government program like that. They need self-help. They are killing each other over drugs instead of thinking about the future like middle class people. Now, like I said, South Shore is not the ghetto. But then, it’s very different from the way I remember it. Those days were a long time ago. South Shore, and not just South Shore but the whole world, was different when I was growing up.
How did I construct and then interpret this response? Meanings are in society and therefore in people. In order to identify and interpret the racial meanings conveyed when people talk about racial stratification, one needs to understand how the individuals speaking are placed in the system of racial stratification. Because not all individuals are presumed to be sociologists, one also needs to know how the individuals speaking understand racial stratification in the society in which they are situated. Central to my methodology for identifying and interpreting the racial meanings conveyed when people talk about racial stratification are assumptions about the role of story telling in thinking and talking, as well as assumptions about the role of responsibility in thinking and talking about problems and situations in society such as racial stratification.
THE RACIAL STRATIFICATION OF ECONOMIC STATUS, RACIAL RESIDENTIAL SUCCESSION, AND RACIAL RESIDENTIAL SEGREGATION – THE AMERICAN EXPERIENCE
Income statistics for 1990 (income as of March 1991) indicate that in the nation as a whole Blacks occupy a lower economic status position than do Whites, Hispanics (any race), and Asians and Pacific Islanders. In 1990 the Black median family income was $21,423, only 58 percent of the White median family income of $36,915. The Hispanic median family income was $23,431, and the Asian and Pacific Islander median family income was $42,245. While 8.1 percent of White families, 10.7 percent of all Whites, and 15.1 percent of White children lived below the poverty level, 29.3 percent of Black families, 31.9 percent of all Blacks, and 44.2 percent of Black children lived below the poverty level. Twenty-five percent of Hispanic families, 28.1 percent of all Hispanics, and 39.7 percent of Hispanic children lived below the poverty level, as did 11.0 percent of Asian and Pacific Islander families and 12.2 percent of all Asians and Pacific Islanders.
Racial residential segregation should be one item on the research agenda for the comprehensive study of racial stratification and the relationship between race and economics in the United States. How segregated is America? The most widely accepted measure of residential segregation is the index of dissimilarity. This index computes the relative percentage of Blacks and Whites that would have to change their neighborhood in order to achieve an even residential distribution in a larger area. Indexes between 30 and 60 are considered to be moderate, and indexes above 60 are considered to be high. The average indexes for the 16 metropolitan areas with 250,000 or more Black residents in 1980 were 81 in 1960, 83 in 1970, and 77 in 1980. Widespread and high levels of residential segregation continued unabated into 1990. In 1990, the average dissimilarity index for the 18 northern metropolitan areas with the largest Black populations was 78, while the average dissimilarity index for the 12 southern metropolitan areas with the largest Black populations was 67. At the rate of change observed between 1970 and 1990, the average level of Black-White segregation in the northern metropolitan areas would not reach the lower bound of the high range until the year 2043. At the slower rate of change prevailing from 1970 to 1980 it would take until 2067. As of 1990, no northern Black community approached a moderate level of segregation.
In 1980, the relative levels of residential segregation of the 11 largest European ethnic groups from the English, the “founding” European group, generally reflected the length of time that these groups had been in the United States. Although Blacks have lived in the United States longer than any of the 11 largest European ethnic groups, Blacks were by far more segregated from the English than were any of these European groups in 1980. Blacks are more segregated from Whites than are Hispanics and Asians, many of whom are newly arrived immigrants. If Black-White residential segregation scores were to follow the trends of the 1970s and decline by 5 points each decade after 1980, Black residential segregation would not fall to the 1980 levels of Hispanic and Asian residential segregation until about the year 2040.
The relationship between racial residential segregation and class residential segregation is an important topic of research not in the least because this relationship has important consequences for the size and growth of concentrated urban poverty among Blacks. One important hypothesis posits that the exodus of the Black middle class from mixed income areas was a major factor in the growth of Black concentrated urban poverty after 1970. According to this hypothesis, these Blacks took with them a social buffer which had once shielded poorer Blacks from some of the harmful social dislocations correlated with the joblessness and poverty resulting from structural shifts in the American economy. In contrast, another hypothesis posits that the increase in residential segregation among Black social classes between 1970 and 1980 was not sufficient to account for the rise in concentrated urban poverty among Blacks, and that the interaction between rising poverty rates and high levels of segregation created the urban underclass. According to this hypothesis, the structure of racial residential segregation itself contributed to the rise in concentrated urban poverty among Blacks, because an overall increase in the poverty rate of a highly segregated group is accompanied by an increase in the concentration of poverty for this group.
Racial succession is one of the mechanisms through which high levels of racial residential segregation are maintained. Racial succession is one form of residential succession, the replacement of one population in an area by another. When residential succession occurs, the initial population and its successor may differ with respect to economic function, social status, ethnic or national background, race, or other socially significant characteristics or combination of characteristics. Racial succession takes place when one racial category of the population replaces another as residents of an area. In an important work on residential succession and the Black population in Chicago written during the 1950s, racial succession is described as a four stage process of penetration, invasion, consolidation, and piling up. The bounded neighborhood model exemplifies how the theoretically interesting relationship between the decision-making process of individuals and the collective outcomes produced by the behavior of individuals has been an important focus of research on racial succession. The bounded neighborhood model explains how the pursuit of interest by individual Blacks and Whites leads to segregation in a theoretical neighborhood where most Whites would tolerate a small amount of integration and where there is at first only a small influx of Black residents. A revised theory of neighborhood tipping, based on a survey of 8 Chicago neighborhoods and data from several data sets designed to address specific questions arising from the bounded neighborhood model, weighs the relative importance of sociological factors such as racial prejudice, fear of crime, and housing market factors as causes of racial turnover. Tipping occurs when the concentration of racial minority residents in a neighborhood reaches the tipping point, the level of racial minority concentration which presages a complete racial turnover. According to the revised theory of tipping, victimization, fear of crime, and signs of neighborhood deterioration such as abandoned buildings or lack of upkeep reinforce the cycle of structural weakness in housing markets, economic dissatisfaction, and racial tipping. The persistence of discrimination in housing markets and white prejudice leads to succession and the perpetuation of segregation. “Through a series of exclusionary tactics, realtors limit the likelihood of Black entry into white neighborhoods and channel Black demand for housing into areas within or near existing ghettos. White prejudice is such that when Black entry into a neighborhood is achieved, that area becomes unattractive to further white settlement and whites begin departing at an accelerated rate.”
THE CHICAGO EXPERIENCE
The Chicago experience, therefore, tends to refute any attempt to compare Northern Negroes with European immigrants. Unlike the Irish, Poles, Jews, or Italians, Negroes banded together not to enjoy a common linguistic, cultural, and religious tradition, but because a systematic pattern of segregation left them no alternative.
The outlines of the Black area of residence in Chicago were established by 1920. White hostility and racial violence played an important role first in the creation and solidification of Chicago’s Black Belt pattern of segregation, and later in the transformation of the Black Belt, once a narrow strip of land extending south from downtown, into the South Side area of Black residence. Guerilla warfare and bombings between 1917 and 1919 gave way to open armed conflict in 1919, housing riots in the 1940s and 1950s, and a continuous atmosphere of fear, distrust, and racial incidents afterwards. The demographic pressures of the migration of Southern Blacks into the city, Blacks’ creation of an institutional ghetto in response to white hostility, decades of restrictive covenants, racial succession, and the racial policies of the Chicago Housing Authority all contributed to the transformation of the Black Belt into the South Side area of Black residence. “As civil rights forces mobilized in the South, and the Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas decision of 1954 was hailed as a possible new beginning in American race relations, Chicago moved in the opposite direction by institutionalizing a greatly enlarged Black ghetto and admonishing potential newcomers to stay away.” Housing riots attest to the fact that racial residential segregation was a norm in Chicago which many White Chicagoans were willing to fight to maintain. Racial divisions centering on housing continued after the 1950s. Martin Luther King led civil rights marches into White neighborhoods in 1966. The physical division of Whites and Blacks in different electoral wards continued, establishing the dominating context of racial animosity which set the stage in 1983 for the election of Harold Washington as the city’s first Black mayor, after a campaign that was fought as a “race war Chicago style.”
The results from a study of 203 metropolitan areas in which at least 4 percent of the population was Black in 1980 ranked Chicago the fourth most segregated metropolitan area in the nation. The index in the Chicago Metropolitan Area was 88, and only Gary, Indiana Fort Myers, Florida and Cleveland, Ohio were more segregated than Chicago. Chicago is an area of hypersegregation for Blacks. In 1990 Black, Hispanic, and Asian indexes were 86, 63, and 43 respectively.
As in the rest of the nation, the racial stratification of economic status is considerable in Chicago. In 1990, Chicago was the nation’s third most populated city with 2,783,726 residents. After New York City, Chicago had the largest Black population. The population in the city was 45.4 percent White, 39.1 percent Black, 19.6 percent Hispanic, and 3.7 percent Asian or Pacific Islander. While the per capita income of Whites in 1989 was $18,258, the per capita income of Blacks was only $8,569. The per capita income of Asian and Pacific Islanders was $11,581, and the per capita income of Hispanics was $7,438. Blacks and Hispanics are by far more concentrated within the city limits than are Asians and Pacific Islanders or Whites. In the Chicago PMSA during 1990 30.1 percent of Whites, 81.7 percent of Blacks, 45.4 percent of Asians and Pacific Islanders, and 76.2 percent of Hispanics were city residents. Per capita incomes in the Chicago PMSA in 1989 were higher than those in the city, but show the same general pattern of stratification as per capita incomes in the city: $19,777 Whites; $9,205 Blacks; $14,754 Asians and Pacific Islanders; $8,264 Hispanics. The all-person poverty rates in the Chicago PMSA for the four groups in 1989 were: 5.7 percent Whites; 29.5 percent Blacks; 10.0 percent Asians or Pacific Islanders; 20.5 percent Hispanics.
THE SOUTH SHORE CASE
People are both unique individuals and social beings functioning at specific historical periods and locations in the social structure. External or contextual realities constrain one’s unique modes of activity, but how one interprets or constructs reality depends upon the uniqueness of one’s personality. An exhaustive history could be written about the intersections between prevailing ideologies, the unique experiences and idiosyncratic modes of explanation of the individuals interviewed, and the specific historical patterns of racial stratification in the nation, in Chicago, and in the particular communities within and near Chicago where the individuals who were interviewed have resided. I do not intend to explicate fully this history, for instead, I discuss why it is significant that South Shore is case of racial stratification which these individuals have though about in the past.
South Shore is one of the seventy-five “natural community areas” delimited in the 1920s by researchers at the University of Chicago and institutionalized in the Local Community Fact Book. The concept of a natural community area involved both the ecological or spatial patterns of communities, and the normative dimensions of community – the cultural life, modes of living, customs, and standards. In Symbolic Communities, Hunter assesses the correspondence between the social areas of social area analysis or factorial ecology and the natural community areas. He also explores transformations in the ecology, symbolic culture, and social structure of local urban communities brought about by the increasing scale of modern urban societies. Because the symbols of community names and boundaries may be readily communicated and disseminated from authoritative sources of information and then used by residents in their own definitions of communities, Burgess and his colleagues, in delimiting the natural community areas, may have contributed to the persistence of the community areas as socially meaningful entities. However, the fusion and differentiation of community areas and the establishment of status hierarchies of communities occurred, in part, because community boundaries and names served inclusive and exclusive functions. Residents of higher status communities consciously or unconsciously drew sharp cognitive boundaries that excluded residents of adjacent lower status communities, while the latter “blurred” these boundaries to include themselves in the higher status communities. Community organizations and other authoritative sources of information assisted this process of fusion and differentiation by recognizing and even creating revised community boundaries.
One dispute between Molotch and Guest and Zuiches centered on South Shore community area boundaries and the exclusion of Blacks living in two census tracts west of Stony Island from South Shore by White residents, community organizations, and by Molotch. With respect to the boundaries of South Shore, Molotch notes “The most basic finding is that something called a ‘South Shore’ as a distinct area does exist…The boundaries of South Shore are not unanimously viewed, but there is widespread agreement-especially on three of the four boundaries.” According to Molotch, the three agreed upon boundaries are clear cut paths and edges: Lake Michigan in the east, 67th Street in the north, and Stony Island in the west. Molotch conducted his dissertation research (later published in Managed Integration) between 1965 and 1967 on residential turnover in South Shore and on the efforts of the South Shore Commission to manage integration. According to Molotch, South Shore underwent dramatic racial change between 1960 and 1966. By 1965, when Molotch’s study of South Shore began, a large number of Black residents, close to a fourth of the total population of the area Molotch defined as South Shore, were concentrated in the northwest corner of the community. According to Molotch, the first Black families are said to have moved into this corner of South Shore at 67th and Stony Island in 1958. Most white residents dated the onset of racial change with 1960 and saw succession, moving to the south and east as the Black Belt expanded, as an unstoppable process. However, based on his comparison of residential turnover in South Shore and Rogers Park, Molotch argues that racial residential succession in South Shore during the 1960s does not constitute “White flight.” Instead, a stable process of residential turnover took place due to the dual housing market. Housing starved Blacks were willing to pay higher rents for housing in South Shore than were Whites who had numerous attractive housing opportunities available to them elsewhere. Consequently, White migration into South Shore was insufficient to counter-balance the in-migration of Blacks. The declining number of Whites and the increasing number of Blacks was interpreted by remaining White residents as evidence of the failure of managed integration.
Guest and Zuiches claimed that Molotch’s definition of South Shore was methodologically unsound for the purposes of his analysis of residential turnover in South Shore. They claimed that compared to the Burgess Fact Book boundaries, Molotch’s South Shore boundaries excluded two census tracts which were already heavily Black by 1960. According to Fact Book boundaries, nearly 10 percent of the South Shore population was Black in 1960. In reply to the criticism that his boundaries simply made official the psychological de-annexation of Black areas from South Shore by South Shore residents, Molotch claims his dissertation research, which involved participant observation, interviews with local residents of South Shore, and the examination of church, school, and organizational boundaries, justified his exclusion of the two predominantly Black census tracts (to the west of Stony Island) from his definition of South Shore. Molotch argues that these tracts were never considered part of South Shore by South Shore residents or community boosters, even when the area west of Stony Island was White. Molotch also places the southern boundary for South Shore south of the Fact Book boundary. Arguing that South Shore boundaries (throughout the history of the area) have been perceived by South Shore residents as different from the Fact Book boundaries, Molotch notes, “Fact Book boundaries originated in the 1930s and have no analytical force apart from their conformity to the conceptions of community which people actually hold.” In Managed Integration, Molotch acknowledges that differentiation based on race may have played a role between 1940 and 1965 in the exclusion of the area west of Stony Island from South Shore by the indigenous White population and the South Shore Commission, but he nonetheless defends his adoption of the South Shore Commission’s boundaries for South Shore.
Manley argues in By the Color of Their Skins that even after succession was complete the Black class structure in South Shore resembled the White counterpart, that differences are a product of industrial development and racial and class contradictions, and that racial contradictions explain the differences between Black and White class structures. In unsuccessfully attempting to exclude Blacks from South Shore and manage integration, Whites judged incoming Blacks by the color of their skins and not by the content of their characters. During the 1960s Blacks entering South Shore were equal to those Whites leaving in terms of education. Blacks were slightly more educated in the 1970s. After South Shore became a predominantly Black neighborhood, the incomes of many of these Blacks in South Shore increased. However, the age structure of the Black population differed from that of the White population. Due to the increase of the younger age group which corresponded to the national trend of Black adolescent unemployment and out of wedlock births, the median income decreased as a percentage of White median income in South Shore during the seventies. In Against the Tide: The Middle Class in Chicago, Camacho and Joravsky characterize South Shore as a middle-class community that is “coming back” due to both the efforts of the South Shore Bank which has channeled millions of private, local, state, and federal dollars into the community for investment and rehabilitation, and the efforts of individuals like a Black social worker profiled by the authors. His middle-class values led him to rehab his own home and work for community improvement.
Whatever boundaries one chooses, racial succession did occur in South Shore. As Table 1 below shows, over the course of the thirty years from 1950 to 1980, the population in South Shore (Fact Book boundaries) changed from 99.8 percent White in to 95.1 percent Black.
Total Population and Percent White, Black, and Other Non-White in South Shore, 1950-1990
Year Population % White % Black % Other Non-White
1950 79,336 99.8 0.2 –
1960 79,086 89.6 9.6 0.8
1970 80,660 29.9 69.0 1.1
1980 77,743 3.6 95.1 1.3
1990 61,517 2.0 97.5 0.7
SOURCES: U.S. Bureau of the Census, 1990 Census of Population and Housing, Summary Tape Files CD90-1A-3-2 and CD90-1C. The Chicago Fact Book Consortium, Local Community Fact Book Chicago Metropolitan Area, 1970 and 1980 pp. 34-36, 116-118. – = < 0.1%.
The percentage of families living below the poverty line in all census tracts in South Shore has increased considerably after 1970, although there are considerable differences by census tract in both median family incomes and family poverty rates in South Shore. In 1989, in only 5 of the 14 census tracts in South Shore was the median family income above the city wide median family income of $26,301. In 10 census tracts family poverty rates were higher than the city wide rate of 18.3 percent.
Why is it reasonable to assume that when the individuals interviewed for this thesis spoke about the place, South Shore, they were thinking and talking about racial stratification? Each individual believed something called a South Shore exists, and each claimed to have resided in South Shore before racial residential secession was complete. Follow-up interviews conducted in January 1994 revealed that the 5 individuals profiled in the appendix did recognize many, although not all, of the 11 neighborhood names Molotch identified, and that they believed that they are part of South Shore. This suggests that South Shore was meaningful to these individuals on the normative dimension. Even decades after they physically moved from what they consider to be South Shore, these individuals have thought and talked about this area, maintaining a curiosity concerning the fate of the South Shore with which they were familiar as children, adolescents, young adults, and adults. In the appendix, the profiles of the 5 individuals show that all 5 are upper middle-class Whites, and that 4 reside in suburbs where the populations were almost exclusively White in 1970. In addition to the high levels of racial stratification in the nation and in Chicago, these individuals’ lingering curiosity concerning the condition of a community where racial succession and increased poverty have occurred over the same time period, and their own experiences as upper middle-class Whites living by and large among other upper middle-class Whites, support the assumption that these individuals have had good reason to think and talk about racial stratification long before they were interviewed.
IDENTIFYING THE RACIAL MEANINGS CONVEYED DURING IN-DEPTH INTERVIEWS
In order to proceed with an analysis of the racial meanings conveyed the during in-depth interviews I need a clearer definition of meaning. Although the definition of meaning on page one of this thesis is appropriate for the analysis of in-depth interview responses because it focuses on communication through language, I will attempt to clarify this definition through a comparison of the racial meanings I will identify to opinions, attitudes, and schemata – constructs which have been used widely in survey research.
The crucial distinctions between opinions, attitudes, and schemata are a matter of the different objectives and assumptions that guide the analysis of survey data (theoretically, even the same data set) by researchers who study opinions, attitudes, and schemata. The absence of a consensus on what constitutes public opinion has led some writers on public opinion to eschew definitions and to discuss the qualities of public opinion. Opinions may be widely distributed in the population or narrowly held by a few people, stable or volatile, and held weakly or strongly. One thing about opinions is certain. Opinions are focused and expressed in terms of specific issues or problems. Policy preferences, evaluations of public officials, and the like that large proportions of the population profess to hold, are examples of issue opinions. Opinions are like coded messages about people’s life experiences and are the result of complex value and belief calculations that establish a sensible fit between these experiences and the outer world. Compared to opinions, attitudes are more like the underlying systems of beliefs and values providing the keys to the coded messages. Attitudes are the broader, deeper feelings and fundamental beliefs which are part of the basic personality of respondents. Attitudes underlie opinions. They are the positive or negative responses individuals have toward some object that underlie the responses expressed in surveys.
Two chief criticisms have been leveled against schema theory: measures of schemata are really measures of attitudes, and the hypotheses derived by schema theory could be easily derived by attitude theory. In response to these criticisms some supporters of the schema concept have argued that there are important differences between attitude and schema theories. While affective response and motivational consistency are central to attitude theory, the core of schema theory is the emphasis on hierarchical categories, cognitive structures, and information processing. Schemata lend organization to an individual’s experience, structure the way information is remembered, guide the inferring of new information, and provide a basis for evaluations and problem solving. This is not to say that there is no place for affect in information processing models using schema theory, such as in the cognitive-affective model of the role of social groups in political thinking.
Schemata and attitudes are hypothetical constructs created to assist explanations of human behavior. “Thus no one has ever measured or will ever measure an attitude directly. We can only observe the empirical consequences of schemata and attitudes, not the schemata and attitudes themselves.” Meanings are not hypothetical constructs in the same way that attitudes and schemata are hypothetical constructs. Communication through language can consist of opinions, focused and expressed in terms of specific issues or problems. Focused and expressed opinions, and hence meanings, are more directly observable and directly measurable than are schemata and attitudes. However, meanings are also hypothetical, like schemata and attitudes, because meanings tell us about what and how people think as well as what they say. Communication through language involves thinking and the processing of information. We cannot measure thinking and information processing directly by listening to peoples’ opinions. Thinking, like schemata and attitudes, underlies focused and expressed opinions. Racial meanings are conveyed through language and can take the form of opinions, but racial meanings are not simply the words, statements, anecdotes, stories, and opinions (the empirical consequences of thinking) we “measure” directly when we hear people speak or when we read interview transcripts. Racial meanings are words and the thoughts, deeper significances, and affect underlying words.
Racial meanings underlie words and can be expressed through heavily nuanced and symbolic language, but racial meanings are not covert or hidden. Racial meanings are part focused opinion. If something is covert, it cannot at the same time be expressed outright as an opinion. This is a methodological argument. Researchers using in-depth interviews cannot use statistical inference to determine whether or not a sample of the population exhibits a tendency to answer particular questions covertly. “In opinion polling, the researcher infers the links between variables; in intensive interviewing, the researcher induces the respondent to create the links between variables as he or she sees them.” One does not openly create links between variables and at the same time covertly conceal these links. If a respondent is prejudiced against Blacks and does not want the researcher to know about it, he or she will not say outright, “I am prejudiced against Blacks, but since it is socially undesirable to be prejudiced against Blacks, I will speak covertly.”
The racial meanings conveyed during in-depth interviews both underlie and are focused opinions, but they are not something the researcher can infer. Hence an important question remains to be answered. How does one identify the racial meanings that are most clearly conveyed by the respondents themselves during in-depth interviews? My answer to this question is based on a set of assumptions about the role of storytelling in thinking and talking, and about the role of responsibility in thinking about problems and situations in society such as racial stratification.
Stories are basic to the human thinking process. Because people think and understand the world in terms of stories, the stories told during in-depth interview responses are clues to how respondents think about and understand some aspect of the world. The gist of a story tells us most about the meaning, including the racial meaning, conveyed in a story. People have dynamic memories which change in response to what they learn about the world with the passing of time. These assumptions about stories, gists, and memory are adapted from a work on the role of stories in human and artificial intelligence:
The central premise here is that a data base of partial stories rather than whole ones exists in memory. After a period of time, one remembers first- or secondhand experiences as a residue of partial stories. To tell a story, then, some set of events, together with a characterization of things that have been learned from those events and a characterization of the open questions in one’s mind to which those events relate, are concatenated into a baseline representation, which we call the story basis or gist of a story. Gists are structured sets of events that function as a single unit in memory that can be transformed by a variety of processes into actual stories. Each time a story is told, its gist is accessed and manipulated for a particular purpose. A gist is a dynamic entity which can change or be replaced over time by adding or deleting details in subsequent telling…The only things we remember [when we tell a story] are the gists that we access.
Story creation is a memory process. When a person first tells a story he or she formulates the gist of an experience and creates the memory structure that will contain the gist of the story for the rest of his or her life. When a person re-tells a story he or she consciously or unconsciously adds to or subtracts from the gist in memory the details, truths, untruths, and embellishments which transform the gist into an actual story communicating the gist. The accuracy of the details in a spoken response is therefore less important than how these details clarify the gist. The gist is what is stored, remembered, and communicated. The details assist communication by transforming the gist into a story the story teller and other people can understand. Although gists are transformed and manipulated when stories are actually told, gists remain the baseline representations of stories which are the clues to how people think about and understand some aspect of the world. Story-based knowledge expresses the storyteller’s point of view and philosophy of life that comes from experiences. However, story-based memory is dynamic because memory is transformed by experience, learning, and the re-telling of old stories.
I do not assume that any of the individuals who were interviewed could accurately recall all of the details of his or her own life, and certainly not the details of the lives of other people. I do not assume that these individuals provided accurate sociological analyses of racial stratification. Nonetheless, the gists of their responses are worth studying because they are the keys to understanding what these individuals meant when they spoke about racial stratification. The details of the responses, accurate or inaccurate, are important to the extent that they clarify the racial meanings conveyed in the gists of the responses.
Arguing that a lack of empirical evidence for global theories has led public opinion researchers to turn to more idiosyncratic conceptualizations of political opinionation, Iyengar has advanced a domain-specific theory of public opinion in which “the primary factor that determines opinions concerning political issues is the assignment of responsibility for the issue in question; that is, individuals tend to simplify political issues by reducing them to questions of responsibility, and their opinions on issues flow from their answers to these questions.” Founded upon evidence which is primarily from nonpolitical domains, such as psychological research concerning the simplifying and heuristic-like role of responsibility in everyday reasoning, the premise of Iyengar’s theory is that people think about responsibility instinctively and that attributions of responsibility are critical ingredients of all social knowledge. “By reducing the complexity of political issues to the twin concepts of causation and treatment, attributions (of responsibility) enable citizens to structure the otherwise dazzling array of events, policies, institutions, groups, and personalities that make up the day-to-day substance of national politics.” I draw upon the following ideas from Iyengar’s work. Political thinking involves the responsibility heuristic applied in specific domains or contexts, and global concerns. The latter can be ideology and the conflicting capitalist (individualistic) and democratic (egalitarian) values of the “American ethos” which are supported by elites and opinion leaders who disseminate political norms through various media as parts of ideologically integrated packages. These global concerns influence the way people think about the role of the individual and the role of society in treating and causing problems.
CONCLUSION: RACIAL MEANING IN THE CONSTRUCTED RESPONSE
The interviews conducted for this thesis provided individuals with numerous opportunities to comment on the problems and situations arising from racial stratification. It is impossible to fit neatly their responses into a scheme of responsibility such as the one Iyengar uses. However, in order to identify the racial meanings conveyed by these individuals, I studied the gists of people’s stories, looking for what these gists conveyed about who is held responsible for causing racial stratification and the problems associated with it. The response is one I have constructed from the gists of many of the responses of the individuals profiled in the appendix. One constructed response does not adequately represent all of the varied and contradictory responses given by the individuals interviewed. However, this response represents one form of the convergence of responsibility and racial meaning that formed a large portion of the responses – the individualistic and affect-driven convergence of responsibility and racial meaning.
In order to identify the racial meanings expressed in the response I relate the details of the response to the gists, focusing on the attributions of responsibility, which are like the morals of the gists. The details in the response are mainly descriptions of the several objects that are compared and opposed by the “respondent.” These objects are places or people, or combinations of both, existing at specified periods in time. For example, one such object is “the middle-class white who resided in South Shore during the 1950s.” Another object is “the middle-class Black who resides in South Shore during the 1990s.” Sometimes the respondent describes the objects. Other times the respondent clearly implies that the objects exist. The response conveys racial meaning through the attributions of responsibility in the story gists that lie behind comparisons and oppositions of objects. At times the respondent explicitly compares and opposes the objects. At other times we must juxtapose descriptions of the objects in order to piece together the story about responsibility.
It is important to reiterate that questions about the accuracy of the details are not central to my analysis of racial meaning in the response. In order to analyze racial meaning in the response it is not necessary to assume that the object descriptions are founded upon an accurate sociological analysis of South Shore or on an understanding of the history of racial stratification in Chicago. My fundamental argument is that there is a convergence of responsibility and racial meaning when people talk about racial stratification, not that all people are experts, and not that all people would give response such as the one given by this “respondent.” Outsiders’ distortions of facts (and the individuals interviewed, no longer residing in South Shore, are outsiders) are to be expected. Having undergone racial change, South Shore is viewed as a mysterious, dangerous, depressing area by the people who do not reside there. The distortions must be taken along with the rest of the response and searched for meaning.
The story about responsibility is undeveloped in the beginning of the response. The two main objects described are the entire South Shore community area during the 1950s, as well as a more specified neighborhood within this community area, the Jackson Park Highlands during the 1950s. The Jackson Park Highlands are set apart as wealthier than the rest of middle-class and upper middle-class South Shore. The respondent first looks back upon the South Shore of the 1950s with nostalgia. This was a warm and friendly place full of middle-class and upper middle-class families. Although South Shore was located in the city of Chicago, the South Shore of the 1950s has a community feel to it and people felt safe living there. The respondent has fond memories of this place, its amenities, and its people.
The story about responsibility begins to develop as other objects are described. The respondent is certain that the South Shore of today is different from the way it was in the past. The initial distinction, the one most clear to the respondent, is one between the White South Shore of the past and the Black South Shore of today. Whereas the former was middle class, the latter is no longer characterized as middle class by the respondent. Opposed to the nostalgically remembered South Shore of the 1950s is the terrible life in the parts of South Shore where there are more poor people. The South Shore of the 1950s is remembered for its beaches, parks, shops, and safe, friendly atmosphere. The South Shore of the 1990s is said to have serious gang, drug, and crime problems. The response appears to be headed in the direction of individualistic dissatisfaction with the changes that have taken place in South Shore. Individuals are singled out as responsible for these changes. These are people such as the “thugs” who shoot upon being insulted. However, at this point the response could take on a very different aspect as attributions of responsibility are directed elsewhere.
Although there is an association made between there being an increase in poor Black people in South Shore, and more drug, gang, and crime problems, there are as of yet no absolutely clear attributions of responsibility. Poor Blacks in South Shore are not said to be responsible for gang, drug, and crime problems. We cannot yet fully understand the racial meaning conveyed by the respondent’s association of Black, poor, and social problems because we do not know who or what the respondent thinks is causally responsible for this association.
With respect to the cause of this association, the response could continue from here basically in two broad directions. The respondent could attribute causal responsibility for these problems to the faults of individuals. Following this direction, the poor people who live in South Shore where “life is terrible” would be seen as responsible due to such failings as a deficient work ethic or low social interest for problems such as gangs, drugs, and crime. The respondent could also attribute the cause of these problems to society. Such factors as discrimination or the economy could be deemed responsible for Black poverty. The last three sentences of the second paragraph of the response appear to hint at the direction which the response will follow. The blunt quality to the statement “we never had those problems,” and the graphic quality of the description of what suffices to get oneself shot and killed in South Shore today, both suggest that the respondent is expressing anger at these changes the respondent believes have taken place. Such anger could be an indication of the respondent’s affective response towards Blacks in South Shore. However, as of yet we do not know for certain where this anger is directed. On the one hand, it could be directed at a class of individuals, such as poor Blacks who live in South Shore, who are seen to be responsible for social problems in South Shore. On the other hand, the anger could be directed at the discriminatory society or government which has neglected its responsibility to see that Blacks living in South Shore are provided with opportunities to live in neighborhoods like the nostalgically remembered White South Shore. Some combination of both is also possible.
The next objects described are types of people whom the respondent believes to live in South Shore now. Once again, more important than the accuracy of the details in this response is how the details clarify the gist. Whether or not the respondent actually knew a co-worker who is a middle-class Black man who resides in South Shore, the manner in which this man and his neighborhood are described is revealing. The Black man described in this response is a crystallization of some of the characteristics of the middle class in the form of a story about an individual. He works at his white collar job, and hence makes enough money to own his own home. His hard work and efforts to maintain his home in decent shape stand in contrast both to the neglect of apartment dwellers to maintain their property and the criminal efforts of the elements coming into his neighborhood from other parts of South Shore. While the former is a hard working and maintaining his property in decent condition, the latter are looking for trouble. We now have a clearer story about responsibility. Individual efforts lead to home ownership, property maintenance, and a nice neighborhood. The trouble makers are the ones who are responsible for making life hard for the middle class. However, the story is not yet complete. Why do the trouble makers make trouble? As of now we only know that they are poor and Black. Considering the association of Black, poor, and crime, combined with the affect conveyed in the response, it appears more certain that the respondent may favor an individualistic view of responsibility. However, the association of poverty and Black with crime could very well be based on a societal explanation for causal responsibility. That is, in response to the deprivations imposed by a society which allows poverty and discrimination to flourish, poor Black people turn to crime, making life hard for middle-class Blacks who, despite the setbacks imposed by discrimination, are trying to work hard for the benefit of themselves and their communities.
In the final section of the response the story about responsibility is more fully developed. Once again the Jackson Park Highlands stand out as a point of comparison. White or Black, the area is recognized as the wealthiest are in South Shore. Why, in the Jackson Park Highlands and in the middle-class areas of South Shore, is there not the blight and deterioration of the inner city? Because middle-class and upper middle-class Blacks care about the future of their children and instilling in them a desire and ability for self-improvement. While South Shore is distinct from the inner city, the inner city is another point of comparison in the response due to the similarities between poor Blacks in South Shore and inner city Blacks. The story about responsibility reaches its full development with the statement “They have to want to help themselves.” Here the respondent could have said “Even though individuals are responsible for creating problems in South Shore, society is responsible for finding and implementing the solutions to the problems.” Instead the response is more purely individualistic. Individuals are responsible for both the causes and solutions of the problems associated with racial stratification. The last statement shows that the respondent does not view the changes in South Shore as an isolated development, but part of wider changes in American society.
What is the racial meaning of the respondent’s individualist attributions of responsibility? The simple answer is that the respondent is a White looking back upon a Black neighborhood which has undergone social change and hence the respondent holds Blacks individually responsible for these changes. This answer does not suffice because a response constructed from interviews of middle-class Blacks who reside in South Shore would probably look very similar to the constructed response in this thesis. Intra-class divisions between middle-class and upper middle-class Blacks living in Parkside and the Jackson Park Highlands in South Shore are fused because another clearer division exists. Middle-class and upper middle-class Blacks in South Shore view the underclass as a serious “element” to be reckoned with in terms of crime and low social interest. As a middle-class Black social worker from South Shore has said,
“To me, middle-class values have to do with a belief in a system, a belief that it is possible to get ahead; a belief that hard work pays off. A lot of people in the underclass no longer believe in the system. Their attitude is: Why go to High School? Why work when I can get money doing other things?”
Both the White respondent looking back on South Shore from the standpoint of a former resident, and the middle-class Black who actually lives there, believe in a system of middle-class values. Hence the racial meaning of the constructed response is not identical with individualism, because individualism is raceless. This is true despite the differences in the respondent’s individualism and the Black social worker’s individualism. The former’s individualism is complete. He says “They (poor Blacks in South Shore) need self-help.” They are responsible for getting themselves into poverty, and they are responsible for getting themselves out of poverty. In contrast the Black social worker says, that the American Dream is perverted. “It’s always what can I do for me. Well, what about the common good?” His individualism has a softer aspect to it. Although the Black poor are experiencing problems because they lack middle-class values, the Black social worker sees it as society’s responsibility to correct these problems. For him there is a common good which takes precedence over individualism.
The racial meaning of the constructed response is apparent when we isolate and connect lines such as,
We never had those kinds of problems. If there was a fight, maybe like a fight between some rough types at South Shore High school, well, then they fought with their fists. Today you’re liable to get shot and killed by a thug if you say the wrong thing to the wrong guy in South Shore.
You really can’t do anything to help those people with welfare or any kind of government program like that. They need self-help. They are killing each other over drugs instead of thinking about the future like middle-class people.
The real racial meaning in the constructed response lies in the manner in which individualism and affect are linked. In the response there is a frustrated, even angered nostalgia for the old days when South Shore was White, and also a firm, unbending individualism. Perhaps anger directed at the failure of a group of individuals to perform their “duty” to help themselves is less diffuse than anger directed at the amorphous entity, society. Hence the solidity of the individualism in the response raises the level of affect, and vice versa.
Racial stratification (the racial stratification of economic status, racial succession, and racial residential segregation) is national in scope, and Chicago is an extremely racially stratified city and metropolitan area. Prior to the interviews the individuals who were interviewed had good reason to think and talk about racial stratification as they attempted to make sense of the intersections between their own life experiences and racial stratification in the nation, in Chicago, and in the smaller communities in Chicago and elsewhere where these individuals have resided. Because thinking, talking, and story telling are connected together in a memory process, these individuals had strongly held, or at least previously considered, story gists about racial stratification stored in memory. The in-depth interviews are a good source of information on racial meanings because they elicited previously held story gists about the pervasive problem of racial stratification. The constructed response illustrates how talk about racial stratification conveys a convergence of responsibility and racial meaning.
During the winter and spring of 1993 I interviewed 22 White individuals who can be divided into three groups. The first group includes five individuals who previously resided in Albany Park, a community area in Chicago where racial residential succession has been on-going since 1970, but not from White to Black. In this masters thesis I have focused on the meanings conveyed when upper middle-class Whites talk about Black-White stratification. Consequently I have not focused on the interviews of these individuals. The second group consists of 17 individuals who have resided in South Shore. In creating the constructed response I focused on the interviews responses of a third group consisting of five individuals in the second group who were most distant from the interviewer. Prior to the interviews these 5 did not know the interviewer directly or indirectly.
The following are profiles of the 5 individuals whose interviews I have focused on in constructing the constructed response. Short follow up interviews were conducted in January 1994 in order to collect additional information required for the profiles. Income is each individual’s estimated or “ball park” figure. For married individuals it is the estimated combined income of the individual and his or her spouse. “Moved to suburb” refers to the suburb where the individual resided at the time of the interview. Information about these suburbs is purposely vague to protect the respondent’s identities, but specific enough to illustrate that these are high income suburbs which were all more than 90 percent White in 1980. Demographic details are not entirely accurate and ages and dates are not necessarily exact, again to protect the respondents’ identities.
Education: Some College
White collar occupation.
1993 income: over $100,000
Moved from South Shore in 1959.
Moved to suburb in 1978.
1989 median household income of suburb: over $70,000.
Race of suburb 1990: More than 80% White, more than 10% Black.
Race of suburb 1980: More than 90% White, less than 5 percent Black.
Race of suburb 1970: More than 99% White.
Married, has children.
1993 income: Respondent refused to provide information about income.
Moved from South Shore to suburb in 1957.
Describes her current residence as an expensive condominium in Chicago.
Describes her husband as a successful white collar professional.
White collar occupation.
Married, has children.
1993 income: 90,000.
Moved from South Shore in 1960.
Moved to suburb in 1972.
1989 median household income: between $45,000 and $55,000.
Race of suburb 1990: More than 90% White, less than 2% Black.
Race of suburb 1980: More than 90% White.
Education: Advanced degree.
Married, has children.
1993 income: $100,000.
Moved from South Shore in 1964.
Moved to suburb in 1972.
1989 median household income of suburb: between $45,000 and $55,000.
Race of suburb 1990: More than 90% White, more than 5% Black.
Race of suburb 1980: More than 95% White.
Race of suburb 1970: More than 99 percent White.
Education: Advanced degree.
White collar occupation.
Married, no children.
1993 income: over $100,000.
Moved from South Shore in 1967.
Move to suburb in 1967.
1989 median household income of suburb: over $70,000.
Race of suburb 1990: More than 95% White, less than 2 percent Black.
Race 1980: More than 95% White.
Race 1970: More than 99% White.
What are the first few thoughts or feelings which come to your mind right now when you think of South Shore?
Are these the same kinds of thoughts or feelings which usually come to your mind when you think of South Shore? (IF NO) How are they different?
Imagine that you have a very close friend who has never heard of South Shore. Your friend wants to know what South Shore was like when you lived there. What would you say to your friend?
What are the first few thoughts or feelings which come to your mind right now when you think of Suburbtown?
Are these the same kinds of thoughts or feelings which usually come to your mind when you think of Suburbtown? (IF NO) How are they different?
Imagine that your very close friend has never heard of Suburbtown. Your friend wants to know what it is like to live in Suburbtown. What would you say to your friend?
Imagine this same friend wants to know what it is like to live in South Shore today. Even though you don’t live there anymore, what would you say to your friend?
Do you ever get together with family or friends who lived in South Shore when you did?
When you are with these people do you ever reminisce about your lives in South Shore?
What specifically do you talk about when you talk about South Shore with these people?
When you are talking about South Shore with these people, do you feel pleasant, happy, sad, or upset?
Why do you think you feel that way?
When did you move out of South Shore?
Why did you decide to move out of South Shore?
Why did you move to Suburbtown (or place moved to directly after moving from South Shore)? Why did you move there rather than somewhere else?
What were the houses and apartments like on your block in South Shore?
Was your block like most blocks in South Shore? How was it different?
Were your parents (or guardians if applicable) renters or home owners? Later, did you live outside of your parents’ household in South Shore? Were you a renter or a home owner then?
What were your neighbors like in South Shore? Characterize your relationship with your neighbors. Did you consider your neighbors to be mainly strangers, acquaintances, friends, close friends, or like family? Was your family friendly with many other families on your block, a few, or none?
Were you a member of a temple or church congregation when you lived in South Shore? How would you characterize this temple or church and your participation in religious and social activities at or through this temple or church?
Did your involvement in religious or social activities change after you moved from South Shore? How would you characterize these changes?
Think back to your childhood and your three or four closest friends in elementary or grammar school. Where did they live and what were they like? Were their backgrounds a lot like yours or different? How so?
What did you and your friends like to do for fun when you were in elementary or grammar school?
What about your friends in high school? What were they like?
What did you like to do for fun and where did you socialize in high school?
How did the high school you attended compare to other high schools in Chicago at the time? What were the students and teachers like there?
In your opinion, what are some of the main differences between life in South Shore when you lived there, and life in Suburbtown today?
What are your neighbors like in Suburbtown? Characterize your relationship with your neighbors. Do you consider your neighbors to be mainly strangers, acquaintances, friends, close friends, or like family? Is your family friendly with many other families on your block, a few, or none?
What are your friends like in Suburbtown? What are their backgrounds like? Where do they live in relation to where you live?
Compared to the friends you had in South Shore, are these people more like you or less like you?
What are some of your feelings about these differences or similarities?
Do you have any children? What do you think it was like for your children to grow up in Suburbtown? What were their closest friends like? What kinds of families and backgrounds did they come from? In what ways were they different or similar?
What kind of high school did your children attend in Suburbtown? What were the students and teachers like there? What do you think the students do for fun?
Do you think your children missed out on something valuable because they grew up in Suburbtown and not in South Shore? Did you have any valuable experiences growing up in South Shore that they did not have because they grew up in Suburbtown? What were some of these experiences?
In your opinion, what are some of the main differences between life in South Shore when you lived there and life in South Shore today? What are the people like who live in South Shore today? How are they different from or similar to you?
How has South Shore (or Hyde Park) High School changed over the years? What is it like today? What are the students and teachers like there? How does it compare to schools in the suburbs? How does it compare to the way you remember it?
What accounts for any of the changes in South Shore?
When was the last time you visited or drove through or near your old neighborhood? What were you doing?
Describe some of your impressions of South Shore when you last visited it. How did you feel about what you saw?
Do you or would you feel comfortable driving through South Shore in your car? (IF UNCOMFORTABLE?) Would it depend upon where you drove to, the time, or both? Would it change things if someone else accompanied you? What kind of person would you want to accompany you in order to feel comfortable? Why do you or would you feel this way?
How about eating in a restaurant or taking a walk in a park you visited regularly as a child? Would it depend upon the time or who accompanied you?
Does this situation affect you or has it shaped your feelings or beliefs about anything in any way? How so?
Do you think that there is anything wrong about the way South Shore changed since you moved away? Is it anyone’s fault? Do you think anything should be or can be done to change the way South Shore is today? What can be done? Whose responsibility is it to do it?
Is there anything else concerning either the past or present South Shore about which you would like to comment?
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Taub, Richard P., D. Garth Taylor, and Jan D. Dunham Paths of Neighborhood Change: Race and Crime in Urban America. Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1984.
Tidwell, Billy J., ed. The State of Black America 1992. New York: The National Urban League, Inc., 1992.
U.S. Bureau of the Census of Population and Housing, 1990 Summary Tape File 3A on CD-ROM.
U.S. Bureau of the Census Statistical Abstract of the United States: 1992. (112th edition) Washington, DC, 1992.
Wilson, William Julius The Truly Disadvantaged. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, (1987).
Young, Michael L. Dictionary of Polling: The Language of Contemporary Opinion Research. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992.
Webster’s II New Riverside University Dictionary, p. 736, 1 and 2.
Published version of a speech, “Politics as a Vocation” at Munich University by Max Weber in 1918. In Gerth and Mills (1946), p. 78.
Massey (1993), table 1. Source for 1990: Roderick J. Harrison and Daniel H. Weinberg, “Racial and Ethnic Segregation in 1990,” Paper presented at the Annual Meetings of the Population Association of America, Denver 1992.
Farley and Allen (1987), p. 146. While Russians have not been as segregated as Blacks, like Blacks, Russians have experienced more discriminatory barriers in housing markets and higher levels of segregation than have other ethnic groups. Russians were the most segregated European ethnic group in the nation in 1980. In 8 of the 16 metropolitan areas the Russian-English segregation index was 60 or higher, and in 2 cities, Baltimore and St. Louis, the Russian-English indexes were 73 and 75 respectively. Farley and Allen (1980), Table 5.9.
Farley (1991), Table 1. Source: Robert Wilger and Reynolds Farley, “Black-White Residential Segregation: Recent Trends.” University of Michigan, Population Studies Center, 1989.
Massey (1993), tables 2 and 3. Source for 1990: Roderick J. Harrison and Daniel H. Weinberg, “Racial and Ethnic Segregation in 1990,” Paper presented at the Annual Meetings of the Population Association of America, Denver 1992. The European ethnic group in the Chicago Metropolitan Area most segregated from the English in 1980 was the Russians, and the Russian-English segregation index was 64. The Black-English segregation index was 80 in the Chicago Metropolitan Area in 1980. Farley and Allen (1989), Table 5.9.
Burgess (1967), p. 7. The ecological dimension of community refers to the selective spatial distributions of populations and functions and to interaction mediated through the spatial and physical environment. The normative dimension of community includes, first, normative social interaction and resulting social structure, and, second the cultural and symbolic elements of community – the shared collective representations and moral sentiments. The ability to exchange meaning through a shared set of symbols has long been recognized as an integral part of a community. Hunter (1974), pp. 4, 19, 67.
The 11 South Shore neighborhoods (according to Molotch) are Parkside, the Jackson Park Highlands, O’Keeffe, Bryn-Mawr West, Bryn-Mawr East, South End West, South End East, Windsor Park, South Shore Drive, and also Bradwell and Cheltenham whose residents did not as clearly identify themselves with other South Shore residents due to social differences (Russian “ethnicity”), physical features, such as major thoroughfares which naturally divide areas, and housing structure type and social class variation. Molotch (1972), Chapter 3.
Molotch (1972), p. 44; Molotch (1969). At the time of Molotch’s study, South Shore and Rogers Park were two community areas that were comparable on numerous population and housing characteristics, their lakefront locations, and their distances of about 10 miles from downtown Chicago on a north-south axis.
A large number of persons of Russian stock resided in South Shore during the decades before racial succession. Foreign stock includes foreign-born persons and persons of foreign or mixed parentage. In 1930, the foreign stock population in South Shore (Fact Book boundaries) was 52.2 percent of the total population, 78,755. By foreign stock, the total population in South Shore in 1930 was 9.3 percent German, 8.5 percent Irish, 7.8 percent from the United Kingdom, 4.4 percent Canadian, and 4.1 percent from the Soviet Union. In 1960 the largest foreign stock group was the Soviet Union, comprising 7.0 percent of the total population. Local Community Fact Book Chicago Metropolitan Area 1960, p. 101.
Lodge and McGraw, Conover and Feldman, and Miller, all in “Where is the Schema” Symposium in American Political Science Review 85 (1991):1341-80.
Conover and Feldman in “Where is the Schema” symposium in American Political Science Review 85 (1991):1341-80. “Where Is the Schema? Critiques?” p. 1365.
Iyengar (1991), p. 8. The global view posits the existence of overarching, higher-order constructs (such as liberal or conservative ideology, political party affiliation, subjective utility, self-interest, and socioeconomic and cultural values) which result in distinct opinion profiles for people who can be classified according to these constructs. The domain-specific approaches hypothesize that opinions are based on narrower and more focused considerations relevant to particular issues (pp. 7,9).
Iyengar (1991), p. 128. Iyengar advances this theory in a study of the contextual effects of television news frames on political opinionation. The hypothesis is that the manner in which a news story is framed is important because different types of news frames elicit different types of attribution of political responsibility, which are in turn important through their role in political opinionation. Iyengar (1991), p. 14.
For the Black residents of South Shore these concerns and opinions of outsiders have to do with an unwillingness to understand the intimate knowledge of social life in the South Shore. Manley (1986), pp.30-31.
The Jackson Park Highlands is an area of large and expensive homes which has long been the most clearly delineated neighborhood in South Shore and the area most highly differentiated from surrounding areas in terms of social and physical circumstances. “It [Jackson Park] is the highest status residential area of South Shore, consisting of large, well-maintained brick and stone homes on elaborate grounds. Other people think of Highlands residents as uniformly “rich”-sometimes speaking of residents as millionaires.” Molotch (1972), p. 51.
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