OUP user menu

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


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.

Sign in

Log in through your institution

Sign in as a personal subscriber

Log in through your institution

Purchase a personal subscription