American Apartheid: Segregation and the Making of the Underclass

Douglas S. Massey, Nancy A. Denton

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


Most Americans vaguely realize that urban America is a residentially segregated society, but few appreciate the depth of black segregation or the degree to which it is maintained by ongoing institutional arrangements and contemporary individual actions. Residential segregation lies beyond the ability of any individual to change; it constrains black life chances irrespective of personal traits, individual motivations, or private achievements. Segregation created the structural conditions for the emergence of an oppositional culture that devalues work, schooling, and marriage and that stresses attitudes and behaviors that are antithetical and often hostile to success in the larger economy. Resting on a foundation of segregation, apartheid not only denies blacks their rights as citizens but forces them to bear the social costs of their own victimization. Residential segregation has become the forgotten factor of American race relations, a minor footnote in the ongoing debate on the urban underclass.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationInequality in the 21st Century
Subtitle of host publicationA Reader
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9780429968372
ISBN (Print)9780429499821
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Social Sciences


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