Izhak Schnell, Wim Ostendorf

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The study of segregation stimulates numerous discussions in the field of geography, and the increase in social heterogeneity, ethnicity and sociocultural identities in globalised spaces has further intensified the discussion about segregation. Our concepts and methodologies were developed in four main stages reflecting trends in geography as a whole. Concepts adopted from urban ecological theory, in particular Parks’ Durkheimian argument that ‘social relations are so frequently and so inevitably correlated with spatial relations’ (Park, 1926, in Peach, 1975, 1-30), became the cornerstone from which all else emerged. In the light of these ideas the city has been subdivided into a mosaic of homogeneous areas located in neutral, continuous and stable urban space (Shevky & Bell, 1955). Indices of segregation tend to compare degrees of unevenness among groups in discrete spatial units, which measure the distribution of social groups. These indices of dissimilarity may also be interpreted as the amount of effort needed for the relocation of a population in order to enable an even distribution of a group (Morgan, 1983; Boal, 1987; Morrill, 1991; Waldorf, 1993; Wong, 1998). All these indices measure the residential distribution of groups and reflect the ecological assumption concerning simple relations between the spatial and the social. This conclusion has been tested in a large number of empirical studies throughout the world using a logical positivist methodology (Peach, 1975; Massey & Denton, 1993).

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationStudies in Segregation and Desegregation
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781351748131
ISBN (Print)9781138729032
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2019


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