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Social Problems: 62 (1)

Co-Editors

Pamela Anne QuirozNilda Flores-González

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The Making of the Black Middle Class

Sharon M. Collins
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/800108 369-382 First published online: 1 April 1983

Abstract

Race no longer appears to be a barrier to the quest of some U.S. blacks for middle-class position. However, is black middle-class advancement as stable as it appears? This paper looks at several factors creating job opportunities for blacks since 1960. I find that black mobility does not reflect a decrease in racial discrimination. On the contrary, black progress in the 1960s and 1970s marks the onset of a new system of segregation. Racial discrimination has softened within income and occupational distributions and recongealed in the structure of job opportunities. I argue, therefore, that the black middle class occupies a fragile market position.

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