Racialized life-chance opportunities across the class structure: The case of African Americans

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19 Scopus citations


Considerations of how socioeconomic outcomes are racialized within discrete class categories have been neglected in assessing the race/class determinants of life-chance opportunities of African Americans. This article addresses this shortcoming. Specifically, it synthesizes findings from recent sociological research concerning how segregation in two institutional spheres, residence and employment, produce racialization at two class levels - among the impoverished and the middle class. The article documents that segregation plays a significant role in producing racial inequality at both class levels, though it exerts different influences across class categories: at the impoverished level, segregation in the residential sphere, and at the middle-class level, segregation in the employment sphere, emerge as critical underpinnings of African Americans' inferior life-chance opportunities. The implications of the findings for using traditional Weberian and Marxist modes of class analyses in assessing the life-chance opportunities for African Americans as well as how the findings contribute to the resolution of the race/class debate are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)215-232
Number of pages18
JournalAnnals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2007


  • African Americans
  • Employment
  • Race
  • Residence
  • Segregation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences(all)


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