Emily Rosenbaum, Ph.D., professor of sociology, is one of 26 researchers who have been chosen from universities all over the United States to participate in a new report on changes in American society, as reflected in the 2010 census.
US2010, Discover America in a New Century, is being funded by the Russell Sage Foundation and coordinated through Brown University. The project, a two-year study which will culminate with a book, got underway when the 2010 census showed virtually no change since 2000 in black and white segregation in the housing markets.
Rosenbaum, a housing inequality expert and author of The Housing Divide: How Generations of Immigrants Fare in New York’s Housing Markets (New York University Press, 2006), will be heading up the research on “How We Are Housed.” Drawing from a few different sources of data, Rosenbaum will analyze recent trends and differentials in home ownership, and housing and neighborhood quality, for the decade 2000-2010.
“Home ownership is widely recognized as a barometer of the U.S. population’s and economy’s well being,” wrote Rosenbaum. “And thus has long been integral to policy making.”
But home ownership, she said, was only “part of the total picture.” Neighborhood safety, access to services such as good schools, and a deteriorating housing unit can adversely affect quality of life and health, she said.
“The persistence of racial/ethnic differentials in housing and neighborhood quality may be a partial explanation for [the]continued patterns of inequality,” said Rosenbaum.
What was surprising about the U.S. 2010 census is that the recent decade of stagnation in black-white segregation followed two decades (1980s, 1990s) of growing diversity. Why has it stopped? This is one of the things the study will look at.
Beyond housing, said John Logan, Ph.D., professor of sociology at Brown and director of US2010, the concluding publication will include studies on immigration, segregation, economics, education, aging and the changing American family, among others.
“US2010 . . . tackles questions of change in American society not from the perspective of one scholar or one topic, but with the expertise of a nationwide team of scholars who were brought together for this purpose,” he said.