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Detroit Divided

Reynolds Farley, Sheldon Danziger, Harry J. Holzer

Publication Year: 2000

Unskilled workers once flocked to Detroit, attracted by manufacturing jobs paying union wages, but the passing of Detroit's manufacturing heyday has left many of those workers stranded. Manufacturing continues to employ high-skilled workers, and new work can be found in suburban service jobs, but the urban plants that used to employ legions of unskilled men are a thing of the past. The authors explain why white auto workers adjusted to these new conditions more easily than blacks. Taking advantage of better access to education and suburban home loans, white men migrated into skilled jobs on the city's outskirts, while blacks faced the twin barriers of higher skill demands and hostile suburban neighborhoods. Some blacks have prospered despite this racial divide: a black elite has emerged, and the shift in the city toward municipal and service jobs has allowed black women to approach parity of earnings with white women. But Detroit remains polarized racially, economically, and geographically to a degree seen in few other American cities.  

Published by: Russell Sage Foundation

Series: Multi-City Study of Urban Inequality

Title Page, Copyright

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p. vii

About the Authors

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p. ix


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p. xi

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1. Introduction: Three Centuries of Growth and Conflict

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pp. 1-13

THE CENSUS OF 1990 counted seventy-seven U.S. cities with 200,000 or more residents. Detroit, the ninth largest, ranked 76th in terms of population growth in the 1980s-it lost one resident in six during that decade. It ranked first in terms of poverty...

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2. Detroit's History: Racial, Spatial, and Economic Changes

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pp. 14-52

WHILE searching for a passage to Asia, Jacques Cartier discovered the St. Lawrence River in 1534 and sailed as far as the current site of Montreal. French missionaries followed his route, settled in Quebec, and then moved into the upper...

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3. The Evolution of Detroit's Labor Market Since 1940

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pp. 53-106

IN I940, the Ford Motor Company employed 85,000 workers at its Detroit-area factories, 21 percent of them African Americans. More than half of all employed black men in metropolitan Detroit at that time drew their paychecks from Ford...

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4. The Detroit Labor Market: The Employers' Perspective

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pp. 107-125

A NUMBER of major developments in Detroit's labor market adversely affected the employment and earnings of blacks, especially black men. The percentage of total employment accounted for by jobs in manufacturing-especially the automobile...

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5. The Detroit Labor Market: The Workers' Perspective

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pp. 126-143

THIS CHAPTER focuses on the extent to which the continuing concentration of the African American population in Detroit, while jobs relocate to the suburbs, contributes to the deteriorating employment outcomes of black residents in the city...

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6. The Evolution of Racial Segregation

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pp. 144-177

AFTER graduation from Wilberforce College, Dr. Ossian Sweet earned his medical degree at Howard University, then went to Europe for postgraduate training. He studied in Vienna and later at Madame Curie's Institute in Paris, learning...

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7. The Persistence of Residential Segregation

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pp. 178-216

WHY DO blacks and whites continue to live in different places more than fifty years after the Supreme Court overturned restrictive covenants and thirty years after federal open housing legislation outlawed discrimination in the housing...

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8. Blacks and Whites: Differing Views on the Present and Future

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pp. 217-246

POPULAR culture and the media have often portrayed blacks negatively. The most enduring derogatory stereotypes stress the limited intellectual abilities of African Americans, their tendency to speak a nonstandard dialect, their proneness to criminal behavior, and their inability or reluctance...

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9. Revitalizing Detroit: A Vision for the Future

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pp. 247-265

WHAT WILL metropolitan Detroit look like in four or five decades? Certainly it would be a pleasant place to live if everyone who wanted to work could find a suitable job, paying enough to keep his or her family above the poverty line. It would be ideal if Detroit were recognized...


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pp. 267-278


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pp. 279-293


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pp. 295-309

E-ISBN-13: 9781610441988
Print-ISBN-13: 9780871542434
Print-ISBN-10: 0871542439

Page Count: 328
Publication Year: 2000

Series Title: Multi-City Study of Urban Inequality
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OCLC Number: 835509934
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Detroit Divided

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Detroit (Mich.) -- Race relations.
  • Detroit (Mich.) -- Social conditions.
  • Detroit (Mich.) -- Economic conditions.
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