Ethnic Segregation: Local to Global Scale Implications - Essay Sample

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1833 Words
Date:  2023-01-29


Ethnic Segregation is defined as the voluntary or enforced separation of two or more ethnic groups purely based on cultural identity (Laurence 1011). Ethnic Segregation is usually understood or visible at the local scale among city neighbourhoods and Residential Segregation. It can also take place at other geographical scales. Within the U.S., natives have been forced into reservations in many counties just the same way that the blacks were segregated into some neighbourhoods in South Africa during the apartheid era. In the words of American sociologist Douglas S. Massey, "Segregation refers to the differential location of social groups across categories of a social structure. By far, the most studied kind of Segregation involves the differential location of groups across neighbourhoods of a city, a topic generally known as residential segregation" (Massey 13263). Ethnic Segregation is harmful to a society because it causes a lack of cohesion between its citizens. Results being increased crime and violence, and reduced access to health care among other harms.Racial/ethnic Segregation is detrimental to society because it leads to disparity in access to healthcare. As the populations of some minority ethnic groups including African Americans and Latino grew in America, there was a "white flight" in which neighborhoods transitioned from working-class whites to predominantly African Americans. Consequently, there was healthcare "white flight" in which hospitals and other providers of healthcare relocated to the affluent areas characterized by whites in the suburbs (Caldwell 106). As other ethnic populations especially, the Hispanic immigrants moved into these poor predominant African American neighbourhoods, they inherited a lack of healthcare services.

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Recent studies have revealed a link between high residential concentrations of African Americans with fewer primary care physicians and public hospital closures. Hence, ethnic Segregation results in Segregation in healthcare where ethnic minorities receive a lower quality of healthcare in comparison to the Whites (Bethea 1). In general, racial/ ethnic Segregation is harmful because it leads to Segregation of healthcare that may have severe ramifications to society in terms of disparity in mortality rates and life spans.

As Caldwell explains, the problem of healthcare segregation is more widespread than previously thought because it is not merely evident in urban areas alone- it has spread to rural areas (Caldwell 107). As the study reveals, healthcare segregation is much more heightened than in the cities due to the ethnic disparity in the counties. According to the article, health primary shortage areas are likely to be in the counties in which the majority are African Americans and Hispanics. It is no wonder that between 2000 and 2011, the rural counties with majority Hispanics and African Americans gained fewer rural health centers in comparison to the rural counties with White majorities (Laurence 1013).

These statistics have severe ramifications to the American society because they highlight that despite the advances that have been achieved in public health care in the last several decades, ethnic/racial Segregation can roll back the benefits that have been attained (Bethea 1). Healthcare is an important sector to society and it is saddening to see the benefits of the sector not evenly distributed across all the races and ethnic groups within cities and the rural counties in the U.S. As ethnic/racial Segregation continues to manifest itself within cities and rural counties, more and more areas will come to be fully or partially be categorized as Health Primary Shortage Areas with all the social drawbacks involved.

Secondly, ethnic/racial Segregation is linked to violence in society. In the U.S., African American youth demographic commit violence and crime almost twice as often as Hispanic or White youth. For a long time, researchers had believed that this was almost entirely based on individual poverty. Recent studies have revealed that the difference in violent youth crimes can be attributed to four factors- whether a person is a first or second-generation immigrant, the prevalence of managers and professionals in a person's neighbourhood, the marital status of the young person's parents and the proportion of other immigrants in the person's neighbourhood.

Hence, the studies reveal that the problem is much more complicated than merely poverty or the financial resources of a person and that the difference is mostly social. In the U.S., African Americans are six times more likely to die in a violent related death in comparison to the Whites. Based on research conducted in Chicago neighbourhoods, the study reveals a pronounced difference in the rates of violence and crime along ethnic/racial lines. The problem of youth violence is not unique to Chicago alone, as revealed by Trevor Noah in his book, "Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood," without strong role models and an involved community, young people growing the poor neighbourhoods can easily be sucked into the culture of rebellion and violence that seems to be predominant in most cities in developed and developing economies (Noah 25).

Chicago is a good example when studying the harms of ethnic Segregation because the typical African American lives in a 78% black neighbourhood while its typical Hispanics and Whites live in a neighborhood that is approximately 85% nonblack (Caldwell 110). The differences are characterized by a difference in economic endowment and the reported rates of distrust about social mores and law. One of the revelations of this study is that when a large percentage of professionals are in a specific neighbourhood, it reduces the chances of the youth engaging in violent significantly. As observed, the opportunity of engaging in violence is about lower in those neighbourhoods with about 40% of its residents working in a professional occupation. These data and information seem to suggest that professional status and education are essential protective factors against youth violence and crime.

Hence, Segregation in cities in the U.S. exposes different ethnic/racial groups disproportionately to factors that discourage or induce violence. This is because Segregation concentrates in a certain neighbourhood the things that are correlated to ethnicity in society. For example, factors that are correlated with African Americans are concentrated in the African American neighbourhoods, including lack or low levels of education, high levels of poverty, and lack of role models in the neighborhood. For example, the youths in the predominantly African American neighborhoods are likely to have very few role models in their neighborhoods who are educated and have nice paying jobs. They are also expected to be born and bred in poor communities with a high cynicism for the law and the law enforcement officers.

As a result, they are unlikely to attend school to completion or cooperate with the law and the officers that enforce the law in their communities. Contrastingly, their White counterparts on the other side of the city are likely to live in affluent families with lots of role models who are in managerial or professional levels in their career. Therefore, their White counterparts are likely to want to pursue their education to completion and end up in excellent paying jobs. The overall result is an African American neighbourhood that has high rates of violence and crimes by the youth simply because, over the years, Segregation between the races and ethnicities has been deepening.

Lastly, ethnic/racial Segregation is harmful to a society because it harms cohesion. Today, social cohesion is crucial as each society seeks to attract the benefits of globalization. Globalization comes about as different ethnicities and communities come together to overcome some environmental and social problems. However, these challenges cannot be overcome in isolation (Sturgis, Brunton and Kuha-Smith 1290).

Public policy discourses have problematized ethnic/racial residential Segregation, accusing it of being a driver of "parallel lives." Due to social Segregation, minority groups come to live in isolation from the rest of the wider society with minimal contact outside their group (Laurence 1012). This condition is harmful to social cohesion. Hence, ethnic/social Segregation is a structural condition that causes rifts within society and also sustains it. Social cohesion has become an increasingly contested and prominent topic of both political and academic debate due to the rise of international and domestic terrorism in recent decades.

Terrorism, both national and international thrives on a lack of cohesion in society because it makes it easier for one to hate other members of their community simply because of their racial/ethnic differences. For example, since 9/11 an unfair racial profiling has been made by the public connecting anyone of Muslim or Arab descent to terrorism. It is argued that race and racism are still present in reality and is being used to criminalize those of Muslim background specifically. Unfortunately, in today's society, any one of the Islamic or Muslim faith, who regardless of any evidence of illegal behaviour, are marked out as members of a "suspect community". In other parts of the world, terrorists have exploited the lack of social cohesion to kill masses of people. For example, in the last decade, interethnic tensions have boiled down into riots between Asian and White residents in the former industrial towns of the English North West. In the same decade, homegrown terrorists have exploited the simmering tension between the Whites and the U.K. citizens of Pakistani origin to recruit and unleash terror in the form of suicide bombs in London. In those bombing, about fifty-two people were killed.

However, ethnic/social Segregation can be beneficial in managing and preventing the horrors of terrorism. With increased immigration into the U.S. especially after the influx of migrants from Syria and other areas in the Middle East, there is a likelihood of homegrown terrorist groups in America taking advantage of the lack of social cohesion to recruit and carry out terrorist threats within the U.S. Terrorist organizations are known to exploit distrust, disputes regarding the equitable distribution of public goods and low levels of cohesion that characterize the ethnically diverse communities. By allowing Segregation to take place within the society, security agencies can monitor and reduce the impacts of terrorism by making it easy to track down and monitor the movement of potential threats. As communities continue to be less cohesive and new radical changes emerge, ethnic/racial Segregation can help these agencies in zeroing in and monitoring suspects.

The paper sought to demonstrate the social detriment of ethnic/racial Segregation. As revealed, ethnic/racial Segregation is to blame for inequality in healthcare as well as the quality of primary healthcare. Besides, Segregation in society has been revealed to lead to increased violence and crime among the youth. As revealed by studies carried out in Chicago, the lack of role models in addition to poverty in the predominantly African American neighbourhoods makes the youth likely to engage in violence and crime. As highlighted, Segregation in society is likely to result in low levels of social cohesion. In return, social cohesion can be exploited by international and domestic terrorists to export terror to new societies.

Racial/ethnic Segregation, as earlier defined, is the voluntary or enforced separation of two or more ethnic groups based on national cultural identity. People believe that a particular ethnic group or race is more superior to another. Racial/ethnic...

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Ethnic Segregation: Local to Global Scale Implications - Essay Sample. (2023, Jan 29). Retrieved from

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