Explaining trends in racial segregation, 1970–1980

Douglas S. Massey, Andrew B. Gross

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


The authors argue that white racial attitudes have shifted from a universal rejection of blacks as potential neighbors to an acceptance of open housing in principle—but not in practice. As a result, 1970-1980 declines in racial segregation were confined to metropolitan areas where the number of blacks was so small that desegregation could be accommodated without threatening white preferences for limited interracial contact. Although new housing construction created an impetus for integration in some areas by increasing the proportion of homes built under the Fair Housing Act, most urban blacks lived in older urban areas where new housing was quite limited.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-35
Number of pages23
JournalUrban Affairs Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 1991
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Urban Studies


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