A New Method for Analyzing Ethnic Mixing: Southern California as an Exemplar

Authors: William Clark*, University of California - Los Angeles, Julian Randon-Furling, University of Paris 1, Pantheon, Madalina Olteanu, University of Paris 1, Pantheon
Topics: Spatial Analysis & Modeling, Geographic Information Science and Systems, Population Geography
Keywords: inequality, segregation, trajectory convergence
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 3:05 PM / 4:45 PM
Room: Forum Room, Omni, West
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


An ongoing question in studies of residential segregation is how best to capture the complexity evident in multi-ethnic cities and in cities where there are growing immigrant populations. One of the difficult issues is to portray local complexity and to visualize how that complexity changes over space. The use of trajectory convergence analysis provides a flexible method for capturing individual ethnic change across small spatial units, and how the trajectory to the city wide average changes over space. Thus, the key to the analysis is studying how far, in spatial terms, any neighborhood is from the city wide measure of ethnicity. We use these methods to investigate social mixing in the Southern California metropolitan region. We find that these methods provide both excellent visual measures of the patterns of mixing across urban space and the graphical trajectories reveal the spatial speed at which the process of convergence takes place. From the studies of Southern California and Los Angeles we show how relative isolation generates “hot spots” of slow convergence to region wide averages. The advance in measuring segregation with the trajectory convergence analysis is that we can provide numerical measures of the level of segregation and a visual picture of the outcomes of social distance.

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