Long-Term Correlates of High School Racial Composition: Perpetuation Theory Re-Examined
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Examine long-term influences of high school racial composition on students' later racial isolation in the workplace in 1994 & 2000.
Journal Name or Institutional Affiliation:
Teacher College Record
Vol. 112, No. 6, pp. 1654-1678
- Results support perpetuation theory, suggesting that exposure to diversity in high schools affects African-American and White students by shaping the racial composition of workplaces years after they graduate from high school.
- Whites have far and away the highest level of racial isolation in the workplace in both 1994 and 2000, followed in turn by African-Americans, Latinos, and Asian-Americans. Whites' level of racial isolation is about 30 percentage points higher than that of African-Americans.
- The average White student in the sample attends a high school that is 85.46% White, while comparable figures for the concentration of their own racial group in high schools is considerably lower for Asian-Americans (13.37%), Latinos (36.77%), and African-Americans (45.12%). Probably because of this Whites have the most negative view of opportunities for interracial contact in their high schools, with a much lower probability of reporting that students are able to form interracial friendships in their schools.
- Racial relations have a direct influence on racial isolation in the workplace.
- There are indications that racial isolation is indeed perpetuated across social settings, with neighborhood racial isolation significantly associated with workplace racial isolation in both 1994 and 2000.
- While high school racial composition does not have a significant influence on the workplace racial isolation of Asian-American and Latinos, the racial isolation in their neighborhoods does.
- Exposure to some other racial groups in high schools reduces the racial isolation of African-Americans and Whites in the workplace.
- Results show several ways in which segregation is perpetuated and consolidated across the life cycle and its various social settings. Specifically, exposure to larger concentrations of other racial groups in high schools is negatively associated with the later workplace racial isolation of African-Americans and Whites, such that those who have attended more racially diverse high schools are in less racially isolated workplaces.
- Racial isolation in neighborhoods is strongly associated with racial isolation in the workplace, such that respondents who live in racially isolated neighborhoods also tend to work in racially isolated workplaces.
- Study founds that exposure to other racial groups in high school - specifically, exposure to Asian-Americans, African-Americans, and Latinos for White students and exposure to Latinos and Whites for African-American students- reduces their social isolation in workplace social settings after high school.
- As racial isolation in the workplace is an indicator of social cohesion, this paper indicates that attendance at diverse schools can be linked in the long-term with greater social cohesion.
Journal Article Empirical Research
Long Term Outcomes, Math, Occupational Outcomes, Perpetuation Theory, Racial Composition, Reading
Secondary Survey Data
Method of Analysis:
Unit of Analysis:
- NELS 1988-1994 and 1988-2000 to examine the long-term correlates of high school racial composition.
- Sample includes approximately 75,00 students .
- DV: Workplace social isolation in 1994 and 2000 (percentage of people in their workplace whose race and ethnicity math those of the respondent).
- IV: High school racial composition, quality of race relations, residential and school segregation, SES, math and reading scores, gender, high school region, high school location, school sector, public or private school, region of the country, urbanicity.
- Included students that had sufficient data on the school they attended in 1990 and the racial composition of their workplaces in 1994 and/or 2000.
- Runs OLS models using Huber/White/sandwich robust variance estimates and a correction for clustered observations.
- Runs separate models for each major racial group, including Asian-Americans, Latinos, African-=Americans, and Whites.