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Using surveys collected from a sample of households nested within “naturally occurring” neighborhoods in Las Vegas, Nevada, during the 2007–2009 economic recession, this study examines the associations between real and perceived measures of neighborhood distress (foreclosure rate, physical decay, crime) and residents’ reports of neighborhood quality of life and neighborhood satisfaction. Consistent with social disorganization theory, both real and perceived measures of neighborhood disorder were negatively associated with quality of life and neighborhood satisfaction. Residents’ perceptions of neighborliness partially acted as a buffer against the effects of neighborhood distress, including housing foreclosures, on quality of life, and neighborhood satisfaction.
The article discusses research findings on home foreclosures in Las Vegas, Nevada, and their effect on community attachment and cohesion as experienced by those in foreclosure and those living in foreclosure-plagued neighborhoods. Topics include survey results on indicators measuring neighborhood contentment in relation to foreclosure rates and similar nationwide patterns for demographics and foreclosures.
This study examines how two major components of a neighborhood’s reputation—perceived disorder and collective efficacy—shape individuals’ sentiments toward their neighborhoods during a foreclosure crisis. Of central interest are whether neighborhood reputations are durable in the face of a crisis (neighborhood resiliency hypothesis) or whether neighborhood reputations wane during times of duress (foreclosure crisis hypothesis). Geo-coded individual-level data from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Area Social Survey merged with data on census tract foreclosure rates are used to address this question. The results provide qualified support for both perspectives. In support of the neighborhood resiliency hypothesis, collective efficacy is positively associated with how residents feel about the quality of their neighborhoods, and this relationship is unaltered by foreclosure rates. In support of the foreclosure crisis hypothesis, foreclosure rates mediate the effects of neighborhood disorder on resident sentiment. The implications of these findings for community resiliency are discussed.
Much of the research on the incorporation of Mexican immigrants and their descendants in America has focused on their economic incorporation, linguistic transition, patterns of intermarriage, and ethnic and racial identification. I use data from the 1988, 1995, and 2002 National Survey of Family and Growth to examine trends in the timing of first marriage and first birth of Mexican-origin women as indicators of incorporation. Classic assimilation theory and a new theory of ethnic resilience are used to guide this research. Life table analysis, logistic regression, and cox proportional hazard models are employed to examine the transitions to first marriage and first birth. My emphasis is to compare the trends over time among native-born and foreign-born Mexican, White, and Black women. My findings indicate Mexican-origin women are showing patterns of incorporation that are consistent with both old and new theoretical perspectives of incorporation. When using marriage timing as my measure of incorporation, I find that even in the wake of a retreat from marriage, Mexican-origin women continue to maintain early marriage formation patterns. When using first birth timing as my measure of incorporation, I show significant socioeconomic and nativity differences between foreign- and native-born Mexican women that indicate multiple patterns of incorporation. Mexican women with low levels of socioeconomic status exhibit early first birth timing compared to White women and show little signs of convergence over time. Mexican women with high levels of socioeconomic status show a much different pattern of incorporation. Over time, the more educated foreign-born show significant delays in first birth timing while the native-born show a consistent trend with White women in delayed childbearing. Results reveal that the racial, ethnic, and economic diversity of the Mexican-origin population has led to the emergence of both assimilation and ethnic resilience incorporation. I find that ethnic resilience has emerged over time and is more evident among younger women with low levels of socioeconomic status. I do not find that Mexican-origin women with high levels of socioeconomic status are exhibiting patterns of ethnic resilience. These women are showing marriage and fertility patterns that are consistent with those of White women and support an incorporation pattern of assimilation.
Despite recent immigration from Africa and the Caribbean, Blacks in America are still viewed as a monolith in many previous studies. In this paper, we use newly released 2000 census data to estimate log-linear models that highlight patterns of interracial and intraracial marriage and cohabitation among African Americans, West Indians, Africans, and Puerto Rican non-Whites, and their interracial marriage and cohabitation with Whites. Based on data from several metropolitan areas, our results show that, despite lower socioeconomic status, native-born African Americans are more likely than other Blacks to marry Whites; they also are more likely to marry other Black ethnics. West Indians, Africans, and Puerto Rican non-Whites are more likely to marry African Americans than to marry Whites. Interracial relationships represent a greater share of cohabiting unions than marital unions. The majority of interracial unions, including native and immigrant Blacks, consist of a Black man and White woman. The implications for marital assimilation are discussed.
This article examines first-birth timing among Mexican women in the United States over two birth cohorts. Currently, Mexican women are one of a small group that maintains above-replacement fertility in the United States, contributing to both Mexican population growth and overall national population growth. Yet, the fertility timing of Mexican women has undergone a significant transformation over the past 40 years. Using the 1988, 1995, and 2002 National Survey of Family Growth, this article employs first-birth probabilities and Cox proportional hazard models to show how Mexican fertility timing differs from that of other major racial and ethnic groups. The evidence suggests that the racial/ethnic, nativity, and educational diversity of the Mexican-origin population has led to the emergence of two distinct patterns of first-birth timing. The findings from this study point to the need to reconsider the role of Mexican fertility timing in important national discussions of women’s reproductive health and immigration/population polices.
Using nationally representative data, this examination of marital expectations, desires, and behaviors of single and cohabiting unmarried mothers suggests that a majority of unmarried women, including disadvantaged single and cohabiting mothers, value marriage as a personal goal. Among disadvantaged women, single mothers, and racial minority women, systematic differences point to subgroups with lower marital expectations. However, our results also indicate that marital desires do not easily translate into marriage. Accordingly, from a public policy perspective, single mothers’ attitudes about marriage need not be changed. The problem lies in identifying and reducing barriers that prevent single women from realizing marital aspirations.
This study examines the racial and religious differences in parental attitudes toward interfaith relationships in the Bible Belt region of the United States. Using data from the 2007 Georgia Southwestern Omnibus Community Survey, we explore attitudes toward interfaith unions and whether opposition becomes stronger as the union becomes more intimate. We utilize marriage market theory and third party influence to explain subjective parental attitudes toward the interfaith unions of their children. We employ a tolerance scale and logistic regression to predict the racial, religious, and cultural differences in opposition toward interfaith friendship, dating, and marriage. Results indicate that religious importance is a more significant predictor of interfaith opposition than religious affiliation. In addition, white parents exhibit greater opposition toward interfaith dating and marriage than black parents. Overall, the level of opposition toward interfaith unions increases as the relationship becomes more intimate.
This study helps to disentangle the mutual effects of neighborhood disorder and social cohesion on how residents evaluate their neighborhoods. We draw upon data from the 2009 Las Vegas Metropolitan Area Social Survey to understand how neighborhood cohesion, physical disorder, and perceptions of crime and safety influence neighborhood satisfaction and neighborhood quality of life among residents in the dynamic, yet understudied, urban context of Las Vegas, Nevada. We use ordinary least squares and binary logistic regression to predict two measures of neighborhood satisfaction. Our results show that even with significant neighborhood disorder, social connectedness with neighbors remains a significant predictor of neighborhood satisfaction. We discuss implications of neighborhood satisfaction research for other fast-changing metropolitan areas.
The influx of immigrants has increased diversity among ethnic minorities and indicates that they may take multiple integration paths in American society. Previous research on ethnic integration has often focused on panethnic differences, and few have explored ethnic diversity within a racial or panethnic context. Using 2000 U.S. census data for Puerto Rican–, Mexican-, Chinese-, and Filipino-origin individuals, we examine differences in marriage and cohabitation with whites, with other minorities, within a panethnic group, and within an ethnic group by nativity status. Ethnic endogamy is strong and, to a lesser extent, so is panethnic endogamy. Yet, marital or cohabiting unions with whites remain an important path of integration but differ significantly by ethnicity, nativity, age at arrival, and educational attainment. Meanwhile, ethnic differences in marriage and cohabitation with other racial or ethnic minorities are strong. Our analysis supports that unions with whites remain a major path of integration, but other paths of integration also become viable options for all ethnic groups.
What motivates adult children, parents, and even grandchildren to live together? To answer this question, we review the sociological and social gerontological research on multigenerational households and families. We first provide a snapshot of multigenerational coresidence in the US and then discuss the primary theoretical perspectives used to explain these patterns: exchange theory, altruism, and norms and obligations. Structural conditions including economic crises tend to facilitate adult children moving in with parents (often with dependent children in tow), while spousal loss and declining health act as catalysts for parents moving in with adult children. Furthermore, economic struggles often facilitate the formation of grandparent-headed families where the middle generation parents may or may not be present. We suggest that the current economic recession and housing crises will have profound effects on multigenerational households and may also encourage more coresidence. Changes in social welfare policies, increases in coresident grandparenting, and changes in the racial and ethnic composition of the US also have implications for multigenerational households’ economic and social security.
This paper examines important associations between environmental values, knowledge, concern and attitudes about water conservation policies in a desert metropolis. Specifically, we consider: (a) the combined influence of environmental value orientation, knowledge of drought conditions and concern about water use on support for water conservation policies; (b) the relative association of each individual variable on policy support; (c) factors explaining support to increase water prices and restrict water use; and (d) associations between socio-demographic factors and water policy support. Based on data from the 2009 Las Vegas Metropolitan Area Social Survey, we find that environmental value orientation, knowledge and concern are all significant predictors of water conservation, but concern stands out as the primary predictor for water policy support. Knowledge of drought conditions is the strongest predictor of support for water price increases, while concern predicts support for water use restrictions. We discuss theoretical implications and offer suggestions for water management, conservation and outreach.
UNLV sociologists conducted the Las Vegas Metropolitan Area Social Survey (LVMASS) to identify the socio-spatial distribution of attitudes and attributes relevant to urban sustainability in the Las Vegas Valley. The project goal is to understand how Las Vegas residents think about urban sustainability issues across three dimensions: 1) natural environment; 2) community and quality of life; 3) economy.