Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

McSpadden, Lettie Marie

Degree Name

Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)

Legacy Department

Department of Political Science


Matteson (Ill.)--Social conditions; Neighborhood--Illinois--Matteson


Living in racially diverse communities is not the norm for most people residing in the United States. Historically, there have been communities that are diverse for a short while but before long they begin to experience what is more typical, going from segregation to integration or resegregation. In most cases that means all White, followed by a period of integration to all Black. There are examples of municipalities across the United States that have purposefully taken steps to create and maintain residential racial diversity. This research will evaluate the Village of Matteson residential affirmative marketing program's goal of not succumbing to the pattern of segregation to integration to resegregation. The research also investigated the program's impact on the racial demographics of the neighborhood high schools. Data for this study were collected from three primary sources, The United States Census from 1970–2000, Matteson's New Residents Survey from 1992–2001, and the Rich School Districts report cards from 1990–2000. There were also five surrounding communities that were compared to the Village of Matteson in regard to population growth, racial demographics and involvement in programs that valued diversity. The research showed that there are whites who are willing to move to a municipality where they are not the majority. The findings imply that it is not too late for municipalities to put programs in place to stop the trend or resegregation once there is a minority population of 40% or more. The other implication of this study is that whites will continue to move to a municipality in which they are not the majority but they do not tend to send their children to schools where they are in the minority. Maintaining diverse communities once there are more people of color is a very daunting task because of ingrained attitudes, history, the media and other factors. The Village of Matteson decided to take on the challenge. Findings from this study can serve as a guideline for other suburban municipalities that are interested in attracting and maintaining diversity.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [141]-144).


ix, 172 pages, folded color pages map




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