Michael J. White, Ann H. Kim, and Jennifer E. Glick, Mapping Social Distance: Ethnic Residential Segregation in a Multiethnic Metro, Sociological Methods & Research 2005 34: 173-203.

February 7, 2010

The increasing diversity of immigrant-receiving countries calls for measures of residential segregation that extend beyond the conventional two-group approach. The authors represent simultaneously the relative social distance occupied by a wide array of ethnic groups. They use census tract tabulations for the Toronto Consolidated Metropolitan Area in 1996 and the technique of multidimensional scaling to summarize the residential neighborhood pattern of the city’s largest 50 ethnic groups. From the two-dimensional multidimensional scaling configuration, the authors find that African/Caribbean groups and blacks were highly clustered and shared common patterns of segregation with other groups. This study highlights the value of looking beyond broad racial orpanethnic classifications in understanding ethnic congregation and residential segregation patterns. The results also demonstrate the merits of this method in providing a more conceptually meaningful way to understand social distance among groups.

Key Words: segregation • space • ecology • ethnicity • multidimensional scaling