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Trends in Racial Inequalities: Have the Gains of the 1960s Disappeared in the 1970s?

Publication Abstract

Farley, Reynolds. 1977. "Trends in Racial Inequalities: Have the Gains of the 1960s Disappeared in the 1970s?" American Sociological Review, 42(2): 189-208.

Since the end of the Depression the black population has become urbanized, and black leaders increasingly have stressed civil rights grievances. Federal courts have overturned many segregationist practices, and Congress has enacted encompassing civil rights legislation. The nation's economy expanded rapidly in the 1960s, and economic growth may account for the improvements in the status of blacks registered in that decade. We would anticipate that the improvements of the 1960s would be negated in the recession of the 1970s. Investigation of recent trends in education, employment, occupations, family income and personal earnings shows that gains made in the 1960s did not disappear. Indeed, racial differences attenuated in the lean 1970s just as they did in the prosperous 1960s. The changes of the post-Depression period apparently mean that even during a pervasive recession blacks did not lose the gains they previously experienced. Despite these improvements, racial differences remain large and will not disappear soon.


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