Middle-class journeys: A comparative study of the residential and housing outcomes of Caribbean Latino, Black, and White native New Yorkers

Judith A Perez, Fordham University


Middle-Class Journeys: A Comparative Study of the Residential and Housing Outcomes of Caribbean Latino, Black, and White Native New Yorkers Dissertation directed by Clara Rodriguez, Ph.D. and E. Doyle McCarthy. Ph.D. Residence is an indicator of middle-class status in an qualitative study conducted of 57 Caribbean Latino and non-Hispanic Black and White native New Yorkers. This study centered on how respondents felt they were being treated in the housing market and in their residential searches, how they interacted with people in their neighborhoods and how they felt about their class standing in society. Class, race and ethnicity were found to influence housing choices and outcomes. The study compared respondents' (1.) residential aspirations and preferences, (2.) ideas about social mobility, and (3.) experiences with discrimination, segregation, gentrification, and homeownership. The study found that Caribbean Latino and Black respondents were remarkably similar in these three areas in contrast to Whites. Many of them were the first in their families to attain middle-class status, while most White respondents came from middle-class backgrounds. These different class backgrounds revealed disparities in where respondents came to reside and in their rates of homeownership. Whites described how they were supported by their parents' wealth and assets, making homeownership in New York City both easier and more accessible for them. In contrast, the ion-White counterparts opted to purchase homes outside of New York City: Latinos and Blacks also reported difficulties identifying as "middle-class" and reported on the strategies they used to navigate the foreclosure and current housing crisis. Being middle-class in income and occupation did not shield Caribbean Latino or Black respondents from housing discrimination. For, despite their "middle-class status, race and ethnicity worked against them in their middle-class journeys for home ownership.

Subject Area

African American Studies|Black studies|Ethnic studies|Hispanic American studies

Recommended Citation

Perez, Judith A, "Middle-class journeys: A comparative study of the residential and housing outcomes of Caribbean Latino, Black, and White native New Yorkers" (2011). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3452809.