Rainbow Nation, Skewed Spectrum: Immigrant Residential Segregation in a Multi-Ethnic Post-Apartheid Inner City of South Africa

Gayatri Singh, Brown University

Ethnically segregated immigrant neighborhoods make a compelling case for the need to analyze spatial dimensions of social processes and for formulating a more effective engagement with the social meanings of space. Although residential segregation has occupied a prominent research agenda in several Western nations, little attention has been paid to the urban ecology of immigrant segregation in developing countries. This paper attempts to narrow this gap by carrying out a spatial analysis of multi-group immigrant residential segregation in urban South Africa. A unique survey data set provides spatial point data for sampled residential locations linked with a range of socio-demographic characteristics of each person included in the survey. Aiming to engage with the spatial assimilation hypothesis, this paper first develops a point-based spatial measure of nationality-specific residential segregation, and then carries out a multivariate analysis examining individual-level socio-demographic factors influencing co-national clustering of migrant groups.

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Presented in Session 54: Assimilation of Rural-To-Urban Migrants around the World