Garcia 2020

Mural in Rogers Park, Photo credit: Denia Garcia

Ethnic and racial diversity is transforming America’s urban landscape by contributing to the growth of multiethnic neighborhoods.1,2  Some view these neighborhoods as presumably holding the promise of improved race relations. However, others argue ethnoracial diversity reduces interpersonal trust and leads people to withdraw from collective life.3  What do diverse neighborhoods tell us about the prospects ofracial integration and equality in America?

Key Findings

  • Integrated neighborhoods were originally seen as an alternative to segregated neighborhoods and as a strategy for equality and opportunity.
  • Integration is multidimensional; it involves more than just living together and interacting. Integration also happens at the symbolic and civic levels.
  • A three-year ethnography of a Chicago neighborhood shows that racial minorities experience high spatial and symbolic integration but low levels of integration in civic organizations.