What is their significance for understanding more about social inequalities in these places?

Published by Jeannie R. Ferrell

Dec 8, 2022


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For this part of the paper you will create a statistical profile of two census tracts that you will have passed through while on the #18. I’ve chosen these tracts because they offer some of the biggest contrast in terms of median income. For each tract you will look up and display a variety of demographic information from the U.S. Census in a table and then provide an analytical discussion of the data. We will go over how to locate the data you need on the Social Explorer database in class. Look up ALL of the following information listed below for both census tracts that you choose and the larger city where the tracts are located. This could be Albany or Berkeley for the higher income tracts (so you will need to pay attention) and Oakland for the lower income tracts. Make sure you use the most recent data available from the American Community Survey (ACS) from the Census Bureau—for most variables this will likely be the 2020 ACS data. Some of the variables are easy to find as listed below, for others, you will need to do a little work to figure out which variable name is most appropriate for what you are trying to look up. Higher income tracts (choose one): 4206, 4212, 4213 Lower income tracts (choose one): 4030, 4029, 4033.01 INCOME Median household income A poverty statistic (there are a few to choose from) POPULATION DEMOGRAPHICS race/ethnicity (including Hispanic/Latino ethnicity) Immigration (foreign born residents or other immigration statistic) Families with children Single-parent families SOCIAL CLASS INDICATORS BEYOND INCOME: Educational attainment Homeownership and/or median home value. Information on rent (median rent, percent of households that rent) TWO ADDITIONAL VARIABLES OF YOUR CHOICE: Be thoughtful about choosing these—you will be asked to explain your reasoning for your choices. Make sure you choose variables for which you can find data at the census tract level. Present the tract and city data in a side-by-side table to facilitate comparisons. Make sure to note your data source and the census tract numbers. You may create one large table or two separate tables, it is up to you. The main goal is to display the data in a format that is easy to read and understand. Also be prepared to make some editorial decisions about what to display in your table. For example, you may want to collapse and combine some of the information you get from Social Explorer to simplify your table. For example, you will see that the census gives you very detailed information on race/ethnicity and age. You can combine some of these categories into ones like “people under 18”, rather than age 1-5, age 6-10, etc. Data Discussion: Provide a discussion of some key aspects of the data you have presented in the table. The important thing here is to go beyond what is presented in the table. Do not simply re-state what is displayed there! You will want to highlight what you think are the most interesting and illuminating pieces of demographic information about your tracts and why, discuss key comparisons between them and how your tracts compare with the larger city or town in which they are located. You may want to discuss how the data differs from expectations you had based on your fieldwork observations. Aim to explain how the points you are making about the data could be relevant for understanding social inequalities in these places, and how different data points may be connected, based on class materials. For example, does the economic data you found square with what you thought you’d find, based on your observations? Does it match up with what you would expect based on the educational data? Does knowing about the presence of immigrants or single parent families help you understand what may be going on? Why or why not? Make sure to also explain the logic for your choice of additional variables. Why did you choose them? What is their significance for understanding more about social inequalities in these places? Excluding the table itself, this section should be about two pages (double spaced). Together, the statistical profiles and data discussion are a very significant portion of your grade for the paper. Essay Analysis For the last part of the assignment, please answer the questions below in 3 to 4 pages, double-spaced. The neighborhood environment people live in shapes many aspects of their lives. Describe the “geography of opportunity” that is provided by the two census tracts in your data profile. Make sure to support your responses with references to class materials and the census data, including the Opportunity Atlas. It is important that you support your arguments about the census tracts with the empirical data you have looked up. You should also bring in your field observations as they are an additional source of information. What aspects of the neighborhood environment influences residents’ life chances, according to class readings? After providing a general discussion, identify the key similarities and differences in these variables between the two tracts and explain if they are mostly positive, negative, neutral influences or a mixture (on children’s life chances). Based on class readings and discussions, what can you say about why these conditions may be present in the neighborhoods? What historical and contemporary forces impact the availability of resources? Do the data conform to what you might expect from what you have learned so far? (For example, if your tract has a high median income, does it also have a high percentage of college graduates?) If it doesn’t can you get any insight from the other data? What would be the upsides and downsides of raising a child in either tract?


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