Spatial Inequality (SOC)

by Tarry Ahuja, PhD

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    00:00 Okay, let’s get into Spatial Inequality.

    00:03 Where do you live? Who surround you? And is that really equitable? Let’s take a look.

    00:09 Residential segregation refers to the separation of groups into different neighborhoods.

    00:15 That’s not a new premise. We understand we all live in different neighborhoods.

    00:19 That’s a common occurrence.

    00:21 But now, we’re going to look at what are some of the drivers behind that right? Residential segregation is most commonly based on three main drivers that we’re going to talk about.

    00:29 The first and probably most obvious would be is racial differences.

    00:33 The second, ethnic differences.

    00:35 And third, is socioeconomic drivers or differences. That includes things like affluence and education.

    00:41 Now, we know that when Residential segregation occurs, it’s not because laws has been enforced.

    00:51 Typically, it’s more on social patterns based on suburbanization, discrimination and personal preference.

    00:58 Imagine you are moving to a new city, and you’re taking a look at the neighborhoods.

    01:02 And I’m just going to pick a minority, your visual minorities.

    01:06 So, say you’re Indian. And you’re going into a predominantly white town but there is a small sub-population or smaller little neighborhood of other fellow Indians.

    01:17 Now, as a immigrant coming in, where would you feel most comfortable? I mean, a lot of times your personal preference would be that ‘’I would like to be with other Indians, so I can communicate.

    01:27 I might have access to the different amenities that I need.

    01:29 In that case, that’s more of personal preference.

    01:32 As supposed to, when you come into a neighborhood and they tell you ‘’Well, no, this is where your kind lives so you’ll be living in that area.” Thats were the difference between preferences versus discrimination.

    01:43 Now, we can actually deal about om math based on the data that’s available.

    01:48 and calculate something called Index of dissimilarity.

    01:51 So, this is the level of segregation, with zero being total segregation and 100 indicating a perfect heterogeneous distribution.

    02:00 So, at zero we’d have drawn lines. All of these types of people all over here, All of these types of people over here, and at a 100, is a nice perfect mix of everybody.

    02:09 So, what we know is that levels of residential segregation increase based on stereotypes, discrimination and social tension.

    02:20 When you have the segregation, and like I said, we can calculate that.

    02:26 The more segregation we have the more stereotypes, the more discrimination and more tension and that makes sense. Think of two neighborhood, and one neighborhood might not like than other neighborhood or might have pre-deceive scary types of other neighborhood. And they might say ‘I don’t want to reallylive there’’.

    02:44 And that transitionary area where this two neighborhoods may be meet or we have some overlap.

    02:50 you might see some of the issues in terms of safety and violence.

    02:54 Now, let’s take a look at what happens when this three variables interact.

    03:02 So, when you have these neighborhoods, whether you’ve had segregation you can actually create something called social isolation which is you stay within your group and socially speaking, you’ve created a sub-category within the broader society.

    03:16 And so, you’ve isolated yourself. You’ve created yourself a little island of individuals that belong to your social circle.

    03:24 And also creates something called linguistic isolation and culture isolation.

    03:28 Now, you see this a lot of times in a lot of cities around the globe, where they have Lets say at China Town. And a lot of the signage is in Mandarin or Chinese.

    03:39 And you have restaurants, grocery stores and a lot of the people actually only speak that language and don’t speak the other language that is a predominant language for say that city.

    03:50 There’s also creates cultural isolation where the individuals in that culture basically immolate the same cultures that they have and their originating country.

    03:59 So, I’m using Chinese in China Town as an example.

    04:03 So, they might bring some of the cultures that they have in China to this donor city where they have set up a China Town.

    04:09 And so, that’s created this little island effect.

    04:12 Now, we know that this can increase the incidence of violence and crime with surrounding areas because of that potential tension, and that difference, and discrimination.

    04:24 And also within that sub-population, if that sub-population falls within a lower SES segregate then you can get this violence as well. So, these different factors can all escalate neighborhood safety and violence.

    04:37 Now, this is not to say that every China Town has lot of violent and that’s why we have violence.

    04:43 We're simply highlight in that while you create this socially isolated islands that have their own culture and their own norms that differs from those around them, it sparks the potential for conflict and they also sparks the potential for crime.

    05:00 Now, difference between neighborhood composition may impact access to law enforcements as well.

    05:06 So, back to some of the drivers behind what’s creating this neighborhoods, one of those was socio-economic status.

    05:12 And we know that from our other discussions that in terms or SES, if you are on the lower end of the SES scale, you tend to have lower paying jobs, lower quality of life, you tend to have rougher jobs, less education and less access to social resources.

    05:29 and some of those include, things like police stations and shelters, and actual law enforcement, ensuring safety to neighborhood versus say a highly affluent area, we have lots of police, you have lots of shelters, lots of resources there.

    05:44 And so, that disparity, that difference can actually lead to increase in safety and violence issues.

    05:51 Now, we’re going to approach a topic called Environmental justice.

    05:56 This refers to the trend that people that are on a lower on the SES scale have less access to environmental assets and higher presence of negative environmental factor.

    06:04 What are some of the things that I’m talking about? So, on the green side, on the environmental side, these are assets like things like parks, screen spaces, bike pass, places to go take your dog, play with your kids and also some social supports services. So linked through that greenery.

    06:20 Lot of money generated from the taxes are put in to creating in this play spaces and these places for you to enjoy yourself.

    06:28 Now, coming with that is the ability to do things like ‘’Well, hey I have a park, I can go play with my kids, or I can go for a bike ride, or I can go for a run’’.

    06:36 And it’s giving you the opportunity to actually reinforce the positive health outcomes that we see with those that are higher on the SES scale.

    06:44 Now, negative environmental factors can include things like the processing plant for garbage and dumps, factories, energy production, transportation hubs, airports, trucks, train stations.

    06:56 These tend to follow around areas where you see lower economic status.

    07:02 So, I have this kind of graph for you so we can kind of make some sense Now, on the X-axis you will see level of SES.

    07:09 On the one end you have the affluent wealthy folks, and a higher on the SES scale.

    07:13 and on the other end we have those settled but lower on the SES scale.

    07:16 Now, if you would to graph this though, you’d see a relationship looking at say the environmental assets. So, this is your parks and green spaces that we see more of those assets and individuals that are higher on the SCS scale and you see less of it and those are at the lower on the SCS scale.

    07:35 And in terms of the negative factors, things like the factories, the transit, airports, housing around on those broad areas. That’s not a [inaudible 00:07:43,4] place to live.

    07:44 and we see that the negative factors being much higher on the lower SCS scale versus the more affluent neighborhoods. We see lust things like airports and big industrial factories.

    07:56 So, this disparity reinforces what we know in terms of health risks and based on environmental assets, negative factors and location.

    08:06 So, to sum it all up, if you’re lower on the SES scale you have less access to sort of things that would improve your quality of life and your health outcomes versus those that are higher on the SES scale.

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Spatial Inequality (SOC) by Tarry Ahuja, PhD is from the course Social Inequality.

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Separation of groups by racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic differences into different neighborhoods
    2. Separation of groups by geographic factors into different neighborhoods
    3. Separation of groups by law into different neighborhoods
    4. No separation of groups into different neighborhoods
    5. Separation of groups based on school allocation into different neighborhoods
    1. Environmental justice
    2. Social justice
    3. Socioeconomic differences
    4. Racial differences
    5. Health disparity
    1. Residential segregation
    2. Social isolation
    3. Linguistic isolation
    4. Environmental justice
    5. Social reproduction
    1. It includes the unequal amount of resources (such as welfare benefits) that vary by location or area.
    2. It is rarely found in urban areas.
    3. It includes the unequal amount of services (such as those in medical facilities) that vary by location or area.
    4. It includes the unequal amount of qualities that vary by location or area.
    5. It may be caused by racial segregation.
    1. Ethnic differences
    2. Empathy
    3. Racial differences
    4. Affluence
    5. Education
    1. Social, linguistic, and cultural isolation
    2. Decrease in crime and violence with surrounding groups and lower SES segregates subpopulations
    3. Violence and crime with surrounding groups
    4. Increase in crime in lower SES segregates subpopulations
    5. Increase in violence in lower SES segregates subpopulations
    1. The trend that people with a lower SES have less access to environmental assets and higher presences of negative environmental aspects
    2. The trend that people with a lower SES have no access to environmental assets and higher presences of negative environmental aspects
    3. The trend that people with a lower SES have greater access to environmental assets and higher presences of negative environmental aspects
    4. The trend that people with a lower SES have less access to environmental assets and lower presences of negative environmental aspects.
    5. The trend that people with a lower SES have no access to environmental assets and no presences of environmental aspects

    Author of lecture Spatial Inequality (SOC)

     Tarry Ahuja, PhD

    Tarry Ahuja, PhD

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