The Open UniversitySkip to content

'The inner citadels of the color line’: Mapping the micro-ecology of segregation in everyday life spaces

Dixon, John; Tredoux, Colin; Durrheim, Kevin; Finchilescu, Gillian and Clack, Beverley (2008). 'The inner citadels of the color line’: Mapping the micro-ecology of segregation in everyday life spaces. Personality and Social Psychology Compass, 2(4) pp. 1547–1569.

Full text available as:
PDF (Accepted Manuscript) - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (180Kb)
DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link:
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar


The role of racial segregation in perpetuating racial prejudice and inequality has been widely investigated by social scientists. Most research has concentrated on the macro-sociological organization of institutions of residence, education and employment. In this paper we suggest that such work may be usefully complemented by research that investigates the so-called ‘micro-ecology of segregation’ in everyday life spaces -- the dynamic, largely informal network of social practices through which individuals maintain racial isolation within settings where members of other race groups are physically co-present. Developing this argument, we discuss some historical examples of research on the micro-ecological dimension of race segregation in the USA. We also draw examples from an ongoing program of work on everyday practices of contact and segregation in post-apartheid South Africa. The paper concludes by exploring some conceptual and methodological implications of treating racial segregation as a micro-ecological practice.

Item Type: Journal Article
Copyright Holders: 2008 The Authors
ISSN: 1751-9004
Academic Unit/Department: Social Sciences > Psychology in the Social Sciences
Item ID: 30920
Depositing User: John Dixon
Date Deposited: 13 Jan 2012 10:07
Last Modified: 24 Oct 2012 00:01
Share this page:


Scopus Citations

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   + 44 (0)870 333 4340