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Book Report On "Race And Place" By Susan Welch

1467 words - 6 pages

Racial integration and attitudes have been studied extensively, however very little research has been conducted on the influence of residence on race relations and attitudes. In the book Race and Place: Race Relations in an American City by Susan Welch, Lee Sigelman, Timothy Bledsoe and Michael Combs, this untapped area of study is extensively examined. The central premise of this book is exploring whether living together or separately shape blacks and whites interaction, their opinion of themselves, amongst their own race, and groups of the other race, and their stance on public policy. The city of Detroit and the surrounding metropolitan area is central to the study carried out in this book since Detroit presented the researchers not only how to analyze the racial attitudes of blacks and whites effected by residential circumstances in the early 1990s. But also allowing them to compare attitudes toward race in 1990s and the civil unrest that rose in Detroit 25 years earlier. Significant attention is given to Black suburbanites and this group is compared to the central city blacks and suburban whites.In gathering information a survey was conducted by the researchers of this book in 1992, they interviewed blacks and whites in the suburban area as well as those who were situated in the central city. Blacks and whites living in mixed neighbourhoods whether living in the city or the suburbs and those living completely among there own race was also interviewed. A member of their own race interviewed every person that was being surveyed and the interviews were concluded with 466 whites and 658 blacks. With over 25 years of social change, this data allowed the researchers to analyse the consistency and alteration of racial point of view. The findings of this survey pooled with the series of surveys that was conducted in Detroit 25 years earlier permitted the researchers to address the trends in race relations with greater confidence than they could have with any other city.The book is divided into 8 chapters, the first chapter is the introduction to the book and the central question of this book is asked: Does where one live determines one's view of race? The second chapter begins by recounting Detroit's racial history and the changes that took place in race relations in Detroit from 1962 to 1992. The shifts that affect the residential demographics of blacks in the 20th century are examined. The attitude changes of blacks and whites in Detroit concerning residential segregation and concerning neighbours that are members of a different race is also studied. The third chapter begins to examine the central question of the book by focusing on the improved interracial contact between blacks and whites by residential integration since the late 1960s with such policies as school integration, equal employment opportunity, and affirmative action. Nevertheless, social exchange between blacks and whites continues to be obstructed by high degrees of residential...

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