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date: 19 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter reviews research on segregation’s effect in generating concentrated poverty and stigma, and it explores the biological consequences of exposure to these conditions for health and socioeconomic status. High levels of segregation interact with high levels of poverty to produce concentrated poverty for African Americans and Hispanics in many metropolitan areas. In addition to objective circumstances of deprivation, the concentration of poverty also brings about the stigmatization of the segregated group. The differential exposure of Blacks and Hispanics to concentrated neighborhood disadvantage and its correlates, in turn, functions to shorten telomeres, increase allostatic load, and alter gene expression in deleterious ways. In so doing, it compromises health and cognitive ability, the two critical components of human capital formation, thus systematically undermining the socioeconomic prospects of African Americans and Hispanics in today’s post-industrial, information economy.

Keywords: segregation, stigma, allostasis, epigenetics, telomeres, concentrated poverty

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