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  • Individual Author: Sessoms, Nathan J.
    Reference Type: Thesis
    Year: 2010

    Employing a mixed methodology, this dissertation investigates emerging trends in the spatial distribution of concentrated poverty and concentrated affluence at the nationstate, regional, and local levels of scale during the 1990s. Drawing from quantitative exploration of census data, including comparative analyses of spatial indices of segregation and multivariate regression analyses, it examines trends in poverty and affluence concentration through a comparative analysis of fifty of the nation's largest metropolitan areas, assesses the extent to which the concentration of poverty within suburban zones explains - and is explained by - concentration of affluence patterns, and questions the heterogeneity of concentrated poverty and affluence landscapes through an in-depth study of the Los Angeles metro-area. In addition, qualitative techniques, including structured observations, and photography are be utilized to further understand, illustrate, and articulate the material and lived social realities of landscapes of poverty and affluence concentration. Long regarded as an urban...

    Employing a mixed methodology, this dissertation investigates emerging trends in the spatial distribution of concentrated poverty and concentrated affluence at the nationstate, regional, and local levels of scale during the 1990s. Drawing from quantitative exploration of census data, including comparative analyses of spatial indices of segregation and multivariate regression analyses, it examines trends in poverty and affluence concentration through a comparative analysis of fifty of the nation's largest metropolitan areas, assesses the extent to which the concentration of poverty within suburban zones explains - and is explained by - concentration of affluence patterns, and questions the heterogeneity of concentrated poverty and affluence landscapes through an in-depth study of the Los Angeles metro-area. In addition, qualitative techniques, including structured observations, and photography are be utilized to further understand, illustrate, and articulate the material and lived social realities of landscapes of poverty and affluence concentration. Long regarded as an urban phenomenon and intimately linked to research focused on the Black Urban Underclass, the face and landscape of concentrated poverty has undergone dramatic changes. In stark contrast to its dramatic increase within urban areas during the 1970s and 1980s, recent research has highlighted its substantial decrease within the Midwest and Southern regions of the United States, while increasing within inner-suburban areas and, in particular, the West during the 1990s. Such findings portray concentrated poverty as a phenomenon that carries implications for not only urban areas, but entire regions as well. Moreover, they suggest that poor areas are becoming increasingly differentiated. Therefore, previous assumptions regarding their physical make-up and demographic composition may be in need of revision. Finally, they raise questions as to whether conventional methods of measurement may be unable to adequately depict the increasingly complex landscape of poverty, particularly in globalizing cities such as Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York. Meanwhile, in light of its predominant focus on the poor, their spatial distribution, and perceived behavioral tendencies, urban geographic scholarship has rarely discussed the notion of affluence concentration. Therefore, little is known about this particular stratum. However, in light of new developments in the spatial distribution of concentrated poverty, numerous questions regarding their spatial distribution, their social characteristics, as well as those of their physical landscapes, and their behavioral responses to the suburbanization of concentrated poverty remain which warrant further consideration. Finally, how might these responses impact poverty policy? These and related questions, although foundational, remain critical to the development of a greater understanding of emerging conditions of economic polarization. (author abstract)