Waves of fragmentation: the trajectories of racial boundaries in Raleigh (NC)

Authors: Sylvestre Duroudier*, University Paris 7 Denis Diderot
Topics: Urban Geography, Ethnicity and Race, Quantitative Methods
Keywords: Segregation, Social change, Raleigh, United States, Urban Geography
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/12/2018
Start / End Time: 10:00 AM / 11:40 AM
Room: Studio 8, Marriott, 2nd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Since the 1980’s, scholarly works have pointed out the decline of ethnic and racial segregation indices and the racial diversification of neighborhoods composition in major metropolitan areas. These dynamics helped to reframe debates on the dynamics of segregation spatial patterns, s.a. ghettos, barrios, ethnoburbs, and diverse suburban clusters. This paper aims at getting a better understanding of these dynamics by focusing on three decades of neighborhood change, analyzing spatial pattern dynamics and racial boundaries trajectories in Raleigh, NC metropolitan area.
The theoretical approach is based on the notion of discontinuity, a social distance index, defined as the association of the social distance and spatial proximity, as a way to catch both spatial forms of the racial segregation captured between adjacent neighborhoods, and the evolution of these patterns by their trajectories over time. The methodology relies on analysis of the Neighborhood Change Database (Geolytics) between 1980 and 2010 at the block groups level (BG). A racially-aggregated distance index is computed on the edges of contiguous BGs in the Raleigh CBSA, then a cluster analysis summarizes the local trajectories.
Results focus on several types of racial boundaries according to the variation of the distance index, between the variegated types of segregated neighborhoods. Despite decreasing segregation indices, the paper discuss how evolved and maintained the Raleigh traditional Black ghetto boundaries, and, insisting on the dynamics of segregation decentralization, how many forms of racial boundaries are produced in the suburbs by short temporal and spatial waves of fragmentation.

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