Learning Apart, Living Apart: How the Racial and Ethnic Segregation of Schools and Colleges Perpetuates Residential Segregation Academic Article uri icon


  • BackgroundDespite a powerful civil rights movement and legislation barring discrimination in housing markets, residential neighborhoods remain racially segregated.PurposeThis study examines the extent to which neighborhoods racial composition is inherited across generations and the extent to which high schools and colleges racial composition mediates this relationship. To understand the underlying social processes responsible for racial segregation, I use the spatial assimilation model, the place stratification model, and perpetuation theory.PopulationData for this project are from the National Education Longitudinal Study (NELS), the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), and the U.S. Census.Research DesignA longitudinal design tracks the racial composition of the schools, colleges, and neighborhoods from adolescence through age 26.FindingsHolding constant the percent white in teenagers neighborhoods, socioeconomic status, and other variables, the percent white that students experience in high school and college has a lasting influence, affecting the percent white in young adult neighborhoods and explaining 31% of intergenerational continuity of neighborhood racial composition.ConclusionsThe analyses suggest that racial segregation in high schools and colleges reinforces racial segregation in neighborhoods.

published proceedings

  • Teachers College Record The Voice of Scholarship in Education

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Goldsmith, P. R.

citation count

  • 15

complete list of authors

  • Goldsmith, Pat Rubio

publication date

  • January 2010