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Sociology Professor Tapped for Census Project


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 2000-2010 decade.

“Homeownership 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 policymaking.”

But homeownership, 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,” Rosenbaum said.

What was surprising about the 2010 Census is that the recent decade of unchanged 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.


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