Is America coming apart? Socioeconomic segregation in neighborhoods, schools, workplaces, and social networks, 1970–2020

Jonathan J.B. Mijs*, Elizabeth L. Roe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
1 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

As income inequality in the United States has reached an all-time high, commentators from across the political spectrum warn about the social implications of these economic changes. America, they fear, is “coming apart” as the gap between the rich and poor grows into a fault line. This paper provides a comprehensive review of empirical scholarship in sociology, education, demography, and economics in order to address the question: How have five decades of growing economic inequality shaped America's social landscape? We find that growing levels of income inequality have been accompanied by increasing socioeconomic segregation across (1) friendship networks and romantic partners, (2) residential neighborhoods, (3) K-12 and university education, and (4) workplaces and the labor market. The trends documented in this review give substance to commentators' concerns: compared to the 1970s, rich and poor Americans today are less likely to know one another and to share the same social spaces. The United States is a nation divided.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12884
JournalSociology Compass
Volume15
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Apr 2021

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Is America coming apart? Socioeconomic segregation in neighborhoods, schools, workplaces, and social networks, 1970–2020'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this