Demographic Transformations: A Political Struggle in Compton, Inglewood, and Lynwood.

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Since the 1960s the cities of Compton, Inglewood, and Lynwood have experienced a process of racial transition - where the predominant racial composition of a neighborhood changes from one race to another. In examining racial shifts, the study focused on the three major racial groups of each city: African-Americans, Latinos, and whites. The demographic transformations occurring in each city revealed the demand for political incorporation - the inclusion of groups and individuals into formal political structures as a natural result of racial transitions. My findings provide evidence that the African-American population constantly increased in all three cities from 1960 to 1980, and significantly dropped after 1980.Although political incorporation traditionally involved the transfer of power from whites to blacks, the uniqueness of my findings is the struggle for political incorporation between two racial minority groups: African-Americans and Latinos; which does notpresent the conventional notion of a struggle between a subordinate vs. dominant group. The Latino population became the predominant racial group in the city of Lynwood and was the second most in Compton and Inglewood. The decrease in the percentages of the white population between the 1960s to 1980s in these cities can be categorized as the historic "white-flight" movement.


R. Freer




Support provided by:Irvine Foundation

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