Date of Award

Spring 1991

Document Type

Restricted Thesis

Terms of Use

© 1991 Joshua Room. All rights reserved. Access to this work is restricted to users within the Swarthmore College network and may only be used for non-commercial, educational, and research purposes. Sharing with users outside of the Swarthmore College network is expressly prohibited. For all other uses, including reproduction and distribution, please contact the copyright holder.

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Black Studies Program, History Department

First Advisor

Leah Smith


This paper will be an examination of the processes by which racial segregation has taken place in today's urban communities, and an exploration of the (harmful) effects of that process. Substantial evidence suggests that not only does socioeconomic status (SES) have impact on living situations and thus segregation, but also that the reverse is true and that segregated living conditions have substantial impact on SES and other measures of attainment. A review of the literature will be combined with analysis of the census tracts of Chester, PA (a hypersegregated community) from 1960, 1970 and 1980, rendering Chester a case study in residential segregation. The results of the analysis will be used to explain the economic decline of Chester as well as its present segregated state.


residential segregation, housing discrimination, urban poverty, socioeconomic mobility, assimilation