ERIC Number: ED332839
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Aug-11
Reference Count: N/A
Down and Out in Rural America: The Status of Blacks and Hispanics in the 1980s.
Lyson, Thomas A.
Blacks and Hispanics in rural America face opportunities and life circumstances distinctively different from their urban counterparts. Not only are rural conditions generally worse than urban areas in job opportunity, social services, and human capital, but the problem of inequity is also more severe within rural areas than within urban areas. Most rural Blacks live in the South, with over half of these in the South Atlantic states. Most rural Hispanics are Mexican-American and live in Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Texas. The Index of Dissimilarity, used to measure the degree of segregation in occupational distributions, indicates that the greatest occupational discrepancy is between rural Whites and rural Blacks. Wider cross-racial discrepancy in educational attainment also exists in rural areas. Although more rural minorities succeeded in completing elementary school and high school by the end of the 1980s, they did not experience similar improvements in postsecondary attendance and college completion. In rural areas, there are fewer Whites than Blacks or Hispanics with less than eight years of schooling and many more Whites than Blacks or Hispanics with college degrees. As a result, the gap between Whites and other groups persists in rural areas. The problem is most acute in poor regions of the nation, where local funds for schooling are more limited. The improvement of human capital in rural areas is crucial in dealing with global economic competition. Education must focus on traits and characteristics compatible with work in small scale, diverse and flexibly specialized businesses and enterprises. Examples of such firms would be those offering specialty food products, custom-tailored clothing, handcrafted furniture, professional business services, computer software design, and specialty apparel. Such entrepreneurial enterprises would benefit all rural workers, and they need to be supported by state and local governments through development of infrastructure and policy initiatives. This report includes 7 data tables and 14 references. (ALL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Index of Dissimilarity
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Rural Sociological Society (Norfolk, VA, August 8-11, 1990).