Spatial Separation of Traditional Black Middle Class Families from Neo-Black Middle Class Non-Families: The Emergence of the Love Jones Cohort

Kris Marsh, University of Southern California

Beginning in the 1990s, a surge of films targeting an audience familiar with the black middle class emerged. Overwhelmingly, the characters in these films are young, educated, never married, and childless professionals. Considerable research has shown that both the average size and proportion of married-couples households have decreased, while the proportion of non-family households has increased. Research suggests that married-couple families move away from the central city and live with other married families. My research questions focus on the increasing presence and spatial location of the black middle class non-family households. How obsolete is the current definition of the black middle class that emphasizes the traditional four-person household (married couple family with two children)? Are non-family households spatially separate from traditional black middle class areas? What tract level variables predict spatial separation between these two household types? Initial findings suggest that non-family households are not living among married-couples families with children.

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Presented in Poster Session 4: Migration, Income, Employment, Neighborhoods and Residential Context