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Segregation and Geography

  • By: David H. Kaplan
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Segregation derives from the Latin verb “to separate” or “to divide,” and in the social sciences, it defines the separation of a group of people from the rest of the population. Segregation does not have to be a particularly geographical phenomenon—it can involve any manner of separation—but it often takes geographical forms and is most apparent in cities where the social patterns of people are distinct. The study of segregation has become an important topic in human geography. It also lends itself well to the tool kits of geography, from maps to spatial statistics to ethnography. Geographers have discussed segregation in several ways: from helping describe it, to revealing the processes that cause it, to an understanding of what segregation means to those who experience ...

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