The selected article is "Changing Colors: Spatial Assimilation and New Racial Minority Immigrants" (Myles, & Hou, 2004). This article represents a report of new research.

It is devoted to the analysis of new waves of Canadian minority immigrants that have replaced traditional white, European, migrants. The research shows that this trend contributes to the development of racialized ghettoes along the U.S. borders.

A number of "locational attainment" models with the analysis of actual data for Toronto, the main Canadian city with a significant proportion of the black population, were used. The authors have concluded that residential patterns that are typical for Blacks and South Asians conform comparatively well to the immigrant enclave model that was developed by conventional spatial assimilation theorists. At the same time, the current success in the housing market among a large number of Chinese immigrants may be associated with the creation of more durable ethnic groups.

The main assumption of the standard model represents the view that new migrants are mostly young, with limited resources, who tend to cluster together in low-income immigrant groups for both social and economic reasons (Logan, Alba, & Zhang, 2002). As they possess more economic resources, they may convert them into high quality housing and neighborhoods with better and more amenities. The non-immigrant population usually dominates in such areas. Thus, the move to high quality housing is typically associated with exit from the native neighborhood. This process may be encouraged by linguistic and other forms of cultural convergence.

The authors stressed the existing differences in the size and sign of the regression coefficients in order to identify correlation that may be deduced from the expectations of spatial assimilation theory. They used regression models in order to analyze the predicted outcomes for families with the given set of characteristics.

"Neighborhoods" were defined at the level of the census tracts, i.e. small geographic units representing neighborhood-like communities in census metropolitan areas and consist of about 4,000 persons.

The results provide comparatively significant support for the typical expectations of the spatial assimilation model. The authors demonstrated that initial settlement corresponds to disadvantaged immigrant enclaves. At the same time, long-term, richer migrants tend to purchase homes in more distant, mostly white, neighborhoods.

Black-white segregation in Toronto appeared to be low by American standards and even lower in comparison with other racial minorities in Toronto. Though the levels of black residential segregation do not constitute an exception, the main disadvantage experienced by the black population in the housing market calls for deep studying. Accounting for the serious differences present in homeownership rates may be considered as the most significant analytical issue emerging from the results under consideration.

Residential patterns consistent with spatial assimilation theory have usually been considered as a factor of immigrant "success" among other long-term immigrants rather than the misfortune of more recent immigrants in the process of satisfying their needs for appropriate housing and comfortable neighborhoods. However, black disadvantages in the housing market may be a sign of unmeasured group differences in consumption preferences, savings behavior, wealth, family structure, labor supply, and a number of other factors.

The explanation does not seem to lie in actual observable statistical differences among different migrant groups. The plausible reasons may include the supply side factors (for instance, discrimination). However, this issue was not analyzed in detail.

This article is different from articles in non-scholarly periodicals, such as magazines and newspapers in many ways. Though the subject of these periodicals may be similar, the methods used, the recommendations, and the results are different. This scientific article provides a deep understanding of the issue under study with important qualitative and quantitative insights.


Logan, J., Alba, R., & Zhang, W. (2002). Immigrant enclaves and ethnic communities in New York and Los Angeles. American Sociological Review, 50, pp. 94-106.

Myles, J., & Hou, F. (2004). Changing colors: Spatial assimilation and new racial minority immigrants. The Canadian Journal of Sociology. Volume 29, 1, pp. 29-89.


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