Spring Colloquium: "A Long Way From Home? Race, Educational Opportunity, Mobility, and Residential Choice"

Tuesday, February 24, 2015 - 9:30am
Meyerson G-12

Please join us for the 2015 Urban Studies Graduate Student-Faculty Colloquium Series, in the Office of the Institute of Urban Research, Meyerson Hall G-12. The series provides an opportunity for graduate students who are affiliated with the Urban Studies Certificate program to come together and share their work, and get feedback from a discussant who represents a different discipline from their own. Breakfast included!

Author: Nina Johnson, Swarthmore College

Abstract: For several decades, in response to the severe conditions found in low income urban areas, educational opportunity programs have offered high achieving students scholarships to and placement in predominantly white college preparatory schools in affluent areas. Those who complete their studies most often go on elite colleges and universities, earn advanced degrees and enjoy the privileged status of educated professionals. Much research has been done on the restricted residential mobility of low income urban residents and the possibility, or relative lack thereof, of outmigration from neighborhoods with the fewest resources. And while scholars differ on whether outmigration has in fact been achieved by more advantaged residents, they agree that the desire and efforts to do so, particularly among the middle class, are evident. These studies suggest then that given the opportunity, those with the resources and opportunity will choose to live elsewhere. Data presented here offer a more complex picture of residential choice, the way in which the newly middle class born in low income urban areas conceptualize community and how and why some of those most poised to permanently outmigrate might make the choice to return to their former neighborhoods or ones that are similarly situated.