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Neighborhood Poverty and the Social Isolation of Inner-City African American Families

Bruce H. Rankin and James M. Quane
Social Forces
Vol. 79, No. 1 (Sep., 2000), pp. 139-164
Published by: Oxford University Press
DOI: 10.2307/2675567
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2675567
Page Count: 26
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Neighborhood Poverty and the Social Isolation of Inner-City African American Families
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Abstract

Although social isolation has been posited as a critical structural mechanism linking neighborhood disadvantage to the reduced life chances of inner-city residents, there have been few empirical tests of this proposition. We examine the relative importance of neighborhood poverty and individual and family characteristics on social-network composition and community organizational participation of inner-city Chicago African American families. The results of the multilevel analysis indicate that, while most of the variation in isolation outcomes is due to individual-level respondent characteristics, social-network composition and some forms of organizational participation are affected by neighborhood poverty. Implications of the findings and directions for future research are discussed.

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