Type: Process Essays
Sample donated: Marshall Jackson
Last updated: July 11, 2019
Spatialsegregation of population groups is an old phenomenon and has been analysedfrom different perspectives of different authors. It is an important concept of the geographyand of the social sciences that refers to a variety of processes andpreparatory of the analysis of internal differences in cites through differentcategories such as family or ethnic social status. For decades people have beenliving segregated by socio-economic, religious and ethnic. Spatial segregation implies the concepts ofconcentration and separation of one or more groups from the rest of thepopulation in an urban area, in which there is an overrepresentation of thegroup itself. Different perspectives of spatial segregation are traceablethrough the concepts of ghetto and enclave as all three of them are somehowlinked with each other. Further aspects and the linkage between these conceptsand inclusion and exclusion in term of integration, assimilation andsegregation will be presented in this assignment. According to Van Kempen and Özüekren(1998), spatial segregation is the residential separation of groups within abroader population.
It exists when anarea shows an underrepresentation or vice versa of an ethnic group. They introducedthe term of spatial concentration as implied by spatial segregation, whichindicates an area populated with a considerable number of a certain ethnicgroup, in comparison to other areas of the city. These areas of concentrationof groups with time become more segregated groups called ghetto. Ghetto is definedas the concentration of a community denigrate, excluded, from the rest ofpopulation, thus mostly in position of minority, with shared features andcultural characteristics in segregated areas (Cashmore 1996:148).One of thepossibilities in which the cultural distance is high, segregation can take formof a voluntary enclave, as a defensive strategy of the identity, or into aninvoluntary ghetto, as a consequence of a rejection by the rest of thepopulation. Marcuse (1997) specify the characteristic features by definingenclaves those areas in which the members of a group have spatially merged andcome together with the aim of increasing their socio-economical, political andcultural situation, for example Chinatown in San Francisco and New York. Ghettois instead, defined as an area inhabited by individuals below the standard ofliving and high level of crime (Van Kempen 1998).In addition, ghettos are perceived as segregated areas, in which people areexcluded from the rest of population and principally from cultural growth,developing advantage business, and financial employment.
Indeed, Johnston et al(1986 in Van Kempen 1998:1634) defines ghetto as a residential district thatpreserve one ethnic or cultural group.Ceri Peach(2010) one of the most considered authors, analyzed these concepts of ghettoand enclave deeply and interpreted them critically. He based his research onthe previous American literature of Chicago school. Given that their findinghas strong empirical emphasis, as their work was based on the African Americanghetto, therefore these concepts were described according to that group. Heargues the failure of theoretical literature of American sociology inherent toChicago school theory in distinguishing clearly the two concepts of ghetto andenclave and linkage of ghetto as 3rd spatial stage. Peach (2010)explains these concepts as part of the two basic models of incorporation. Theenclave as part of the assimilationist model (melting pot) predicted themerging of different groups where dominant differences disappear. Therefore,more inclusiveness compared to the ghetto, the latter, which can be eitherforced or voluntarily, as part of multiculturalist (pluralistic) model, indicatesintegration by accommodating while maintaining a separate identity, therefore, more exclusive from the host societies.
The Chicagoschool that started the research in 1920s introduced the three generationalschema, which showed the progress of settlement of the first generation, ininner city followed by second generations ´movement towards assimilation andfinally the third generation is totally diffused in suburbs andassimilated. Peach (2010) argues, consideredthe ghetto as the first stage included immigrants in the process ofassimilation; where enclave was a stage of process, but ghetto was not.It wasan end in itself. As a result, ghetto and enclave were mixed up. The error madeby Chicago school, was recognizing ghetto as temporary phenomenon, which laterbecame permanent.
Moreover, this model of three-stage cycles did not satisfythe African American ghetto, as it was expected these steps to happen on afterthe other as a natural process, but it never happened. Rather the ghetto is, inmost cases, relocated with African American but never fully transformed intoenclave or suburbs (Peach 2010:585,586).Moreover, the unclear fact among theterms ghetto and enclave were not problematize and mixed up with assimilationand integration. In this case, theresearch also included the African American ghetto.
On this research Peach(2010) marks the distinction between the African American ghetto and the ethnicenclave defining the first one as dual segregation and negatively perceived.African American ghetto was involuntary and plural, started in inner city, withalmost exclusive concentration of minority. Contrary to the expectation ofChicago school theory, black ghetto opposed to the ethnic enclave, was definedas dually diluted minority of ethnics and no area were associated to them. Kenneth Clark (1975 in Van Kempen 1998:11)stated that ghetto exist due to the consequences of deliberate policy of thosewho have power in mainstream society. He took as an example the black ghetto,stating that, “the dark ghetto´s invisible walls have been erected by the whitesociety, by those who have power, both to confine those who have no power andto perpetuate their powerlessness” (Van Kempen 1998:11).Anotherdefinition of ghetto is given by Van Amersfoort (1980 in Van Kempen1998: 1634).He describes ghetto as an “institutionalized” residential area whoseinhabitants belong to one single ethnicity, religion or race and they do notlive in any other area.
He wanted to emphasize the fact that people somehow areforced to live together and they choose neither their dwellings nor the areathemselves. An important clue to exclusive policy is given from Van Kempen(2003), as an example, in the case of Swedish municipalities, where, as aresult of a considerable number of anti-immigrant votes; housing associationsdiscriminate indirectly by stating that they do not have available dwellings incertain areas or by simply asking high fees of registration. Assimilation isa difficult process to describe; indeed this paradigm took root from the modelof migration and ethnic relation in US. The Chicago school of ethnic andresidential segregation described this phenomenon as a natural processtriggered by arrival of immigrants groups. These groups were locating at the bottomof the economic ladder and settled in the poorer areas of city.
Accordingly,segregation was considered a preliminary and temporary phase, where individualslived very disorganized life without any contact with the rest of population.Assimilation process in inclusiveness indicates one sided adaption of peopleinto the society willingly; that can happen in different ways which are:culturally partial adoption (individuals or group come resemble to hostsociety) structural (primary relation with members of host society) identificational – resultsmore functional because the longer individual will stay in host country thehigher will become the potential to climb social ladder ( Massey et al 1985) -martial, attitude (minority targeted ) behavioral( discrimination against theminority) and civic – indicate total inclusion without conflicts (Gordon Milton 1964). Basically assimilationargues disappearance through confirming the dominant structure or miringdifferent groups through a spatial diffusion (Peach 2010: 585).
Integrationinstead is positive net to accommodate minorities in wider societies, in spiteof higher risks of segregation, social encapsulation and residentialconcentrations and separations remain. Jose´Diaz (1993) introduces the model ofintegration defining it as the access of minorities in all fields of a society,focusing, therefore, on social and networks relations that maintain properidentity. He divided this process into primary and secondary integration. Thefirst one was described as partial or complete equalities with natives, whilethe second one was the highest level of equality, having all the qualitativecharacteristics for self-support. Integration is a form of inclusiveness ofindividuals, into the host society while accommodating positively members ofdifferent groups.Segregation isexplained on the basis of the exogenous causes, as a consequence of attenuationof rejection and of reciprocal ratios; and of endogenous cause such as forms ofsolidarity, of assistance, reciprocity, within a group and preservation ofcultural activity.
Therefore, the various perspectives of analysis havehighlighted the negative and the positive aspects, linked to the advantages anddisadvantages that spatial concentration can imply. Thus is affects positively and negatively on exclusion, distinction and separation of individualsor group in the same city often these people are victim of inequality inopportunities and different social field in a group or society. If form onehand, spatial segregation, as an advantage, results emergence and preservationof minority cultures and helps to keep and to maintain ethnic networksstimulating entrepreneurship among a group, From other hand, it impacts negatively on School system, for an instancechildren with foreign background have less possibility to get good education ifthey live in a concentration area. Therefore people will be limited inintellect and will not be able to improve, instead it will become “harder forchildren living in such areas to become fluent in the majority language”(Ballard 1990 in Van Kempen 1998). As aresult that area occupied by unique group with same characteristic culturallyand linguistically will not benefit their children, who will be obliged tocommunicate with same skills, thus huge risk and disadvantage for furtherintegration into the host society.
Furthermore, continued permanency instagnated areas will bring negative image to the district, by restricting thesocial mobility of whole classes of people and it can also have an effect oncommercial facilities by limiting strongly any possibility to improve economicsituation.