Examples of American racial stratification: Wage, health and violence differentials examined

Monique Boujean Williams, University of Pennsylvania


This study of race stratification was undertaken in three articles concerning three distinct outcomes: wage differentials, area- and population-specific homicide rate differentials, and physiological distress and cardiovascular disease. The articles, although substantively distinct, fit together to explore stratification by race and some detrimental consequences of racism on these elements of well-being for African Americans. The first paper lays the foundation for the theme by establishing the hierarchy of racial stratification among five race/ethnic groups in the American labor force by examining wage discrimination in two periods. The second chapter explores how residential segregation leads to place stratification, the ranking of neighborhoods according to the race of their predominant residential population. I suggest that place stratification is directly associated with ecological SES and neighborhood violence rates. The last chapter extends the relationship between race stratification and ecology even further by arguing that racial segregation and income inequality lead to physically and psychologically hazardous environments in disadvantaged neighborhoods. Those who are residents of these types of areas are hypothesized to be more susceptible to distress and at higher risk of physiological ailments that are induced or exacerbated by physiological responses to stress. In short, race stratification not only affects group differences in SES, it impinges on neighborhood stability and even psychological and physical health.

Subject Area

Demographics|Minority & ethnic groups|Sociology

Recommended Citation

Williams, Monique Boujean, "Examples of American racial stratification: Wage, health and violence differentials examined" (2001). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI3031737.