Jackelyn Hwang. Racialized Reshuffling: Gentrification and The Persistence of Segregation in the 21st Century City

via Zoom

Over the last two decades, gentrification has spread to more neighborhoods across more cities at an unprecedented pace. Yet, racial residential segregation remains a defining feature of the U.S. landscape. In this talk, I draw from multiple analyses to demonstrate the pernicious ways in which gentrification perpetuates racial inequality, even in the absence of increased displacement. Drawing on a national-level analysis employing novel measures of gentrification and segregation, I show the ways in which poor Black urban residents remain segregated where gentrification is prevalent. Second, using the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, I demonstrate how racially stratified residential sorting persists regardless of gentrification, while mobility rates are unaffected. Last, I employ a unique large-scale, longitudinal consumer credit dataset of residents in Philadelphia and the San Francisco Bay Area to show how residential outcomes remain racially stratified across distinct housing markets. Together, these results underscore the fundamental role of structural racism that is deeply inscribed in the US housing market, perpetuating segregation despite widespread changes. I argue for an expanded framework of segregation that considers how and why some places change and the emergent consequences of such changes to advance understanding of its persistence in the twenty-first century.


Jackelyn Hwang is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and Director of the Changing Cities Research Lab at Stanford University. Jackelyn’s main research interests are in the fields of urban sociology, race and ethnicity, immigration, and inequality. In particular, her research examines the relationship between how neighborhoods change and the persistence of neighborhood inequality by race and class in US cities. Her current projects focus on the causes and consequences of gentrification and developing automated methods for measuring the physical conditions of neighborhoods over time using Google Street View imagery. Jackelyn received her B.A.S. in Sociology and Mathematics from Stanford University and her Ph.D. in Sociology and Social Policy from Harvard University. After completing her Ph.D., she was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Office of Population Research at Princeton University. Her research has been supported by the American Sociological Association, the Joint Center for Housing Studies, the National Science Foundation, among others. Her work has appeared in the American Journal of Sociology, American Sociological Review, Demography, Social Forces, and other academic journals.