G. Cristina Mora
Racial minority markets today are now multi-million-dollar ventures, but little is known about how these markets develop. This chapter uses the case of Latino media to show how market demands interact with racial narratives to channel the development of ethnoracial market segments. In a nutshell, the case shows that ethnic entrepreneurs exploit stereotypes about racial and consumer differences to build their minority market, but these racialized understandings can also prohibit market growth in the long run. The author contends that the study of racial and ethnic markets presents an important opportunity for economic sociologists to better understand how inequality and institutionalized meaning systems structure consumer markets over time.
Geraldine Rosa Henderson and Kathy Zhang
This chapter examines how racialized minorities experience overt and covert discrimination when accessing goods and services. The discrimination varies between outright denial of goods and services and the degradation of the goods and services provided. Using examples in the popular press and a review of the literature of content analyses of court cases, in-depth interviews, and experiments, this chapter also demonstrates how these questions of consumer inequality have been studied and what is yet to be done.
Douglas S. Massey
This article examines how segregation contributes to the perpetuation of disadvantage over time and across generations. It first traces the historical origins of segregation and reviews early substantive and theoretical work done on the subject at the University of Chicago. It then considers the most commonly used measure of segregation as well as the social mechanisms by which residential segregation is produced, with particular emphasis on the paradigmatic case of African Americans in the twentieth century. It also discusses newer mechanisms that have been advanced to promote racial-ethnic segregation in the twenty-first century and how it fosters socioeconomic inequality through the spatial concentration of poverty. Finally, it describes current levels and trends with respect to both racial and class segregation in cities around the world.
William Julius Wilson
This article examines the political, economic, and cultural factors that contributed to the emergence and persistence of concentrated poverty in black inner cities. It begins with a discussion of the political forces that adversely affected black inner-city neighborhoods, followed by an analysis of impersonal economic forces that accelerated neighborhood decline in the black inner city and increased disparities in race and income between cities and suburbs. It then considers two types of cultural forces that contribute to racial inequality: belief systems of the broader society that either explicitly or implicitly give rise to racial inequality; and cultural traits that emerge from patterns of intragroup interaction in settings created by racial segregation and discrimination. It also assesses the impact of the recent rise of immigration on areas of concentrated urban poverty before concluding with suggestions for a new agenda for America’s inner city poor.