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The Potential for Residential Integration in Cities and Suburbs: Implications for the Busing Controversy

Albert I. Hermalin and Reynolds Farley
American Sociological Review
Vol. 38, No. 5 (Oct., 1973), pp. 595-610
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2094410
Page Count: 16
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The Potential for Residential Integration in Cities and Suburbs: Implications for the Busing Controversy
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Abstract

Controversies over busing to achieve racial integration of schools result from the intersection of social trends and prevailing values. The movement to expand the civil rights of blacks conflicts with the tradition of neighborhood schools and the residential segregation of neighborhoods. This paper examines the receptiveness of whites to school and neighborhood integration and explores the economic potential for residential integration. We find the receptiveness of whites to having black neighbors or having their children attend schools with Negroes has increased, and now a majority of whites endorse such integration. Data from the Census of 1970 reveal that economic factors account for little of the concentration of blacks within central cities, their absence from suburbia or the residential segregation of blacks from whites in either cities or suburbs. The attitudinal receptivity and economic potential exist for extensive residential integration, and these can achieve the dual goals of integrated schools and neighborhood schools.

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