Segregation, Desegregation, and Resegregation

Segregation, desegregation, and resegregation describe the nature and extent of contact between diverse social groups. The social arrangements that these concepts describe are central to understanding diversity in education. This entry begins with definitions and examples, followed by a historical overview, a description of trends in segregation–desegregation–resegregation, and a brief discussion of their consequences.


Racial segregation describes a formalized or institutionalized pattern of separation of racial groups within a society that results from discrimination based on race. Racial segregation is generally spatial, but also involves separate or parallel systems of service delivery, and operates with the sanction of customs or laws. Before the Supreme Court's 1954 ruling in Brown v. Board of Education, southern Black students were educated under a dual system that offered inferior facilities ...

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