The Dream Revisited
Discussion 7: Comparative Perspectives on Segregation

Discussion 7: Comparative Perspectives on Segregation

September 2014

The seventh discussion in The Dream Revisited explores what can be learned by looking at racial and economic segregation through a comparative lens. 


  • Reflection on Segregation and Integration: A Swedish Perspective

    by Roger Andersson

    Contrary to U.S. social science research, attention to race and ethnicity until relatively recently played a marginal role in European segregation studies. This difference was likely due to a stronger emphasis on social class and a relative absence of immigrants in Europe. Today, however, the proportion of foreign-born in some European countries is equal or greater than that of the United States. What is still a key difference, of course, is the legacy of slavery and what this means for all aspects of American life and politics.


  • Reflections on Race and Equity: A Structural Perspective

    by Glenn Harris

    From school busing in the 1960s to the election of Barack Obama in 2012, race remains a political wedge in the United States. We need ways of talking about race that not only cut through fear mongering and race wedge politics, but also are transformative in nature, allowing us to develop into healthy and whole communities.

  • Why Not Compare?

    by Chris McCrudden

     Why do American race and ethnic equality scholars and practitioners not use comparative approaches more frequently? Roger, indirectly, suggests several reasons: that U.S. scholars may (wrongly) think that there is no equivalent scholarship to engage with elsewhere; Or that the ideological preferences are so significantly different as to make the suggestions that policy from one jurisdiction might lead to policy change in another seem quixotic. But I’m interested more in thinking aloud about the line near the end of Roger’s blog: "I have learned," he writes, "that if anything sounds like a progressive political idea, it will probably be ruled unconstitutional." A rhetorical flourish, perhaps, but it does raise an interesting question.

  • Reflections on a Comparative Perspective Within the U.S.

    by Dolores Acevedo Garcia

    Because of current demographic trends in the U.S., we should examine and try to undo patterns of segregation not only among blacks, but also among other groups, especially Latinos. There is, of course, a wealth of research on U.S. immigrants, and some researchers routinely calculate indices for all the main U.S. racial/ethnic groups. However, when it comes to housing policy research or just policy debate, Latinos are often missing.

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