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August 15, 2003

Brooks' Bobos Again

One of the reasons I like David Brooks is because he is a student of demographics. Call it political / social geography, but there is an art and science of thinking about facts about where people live and why. One of the reasons I dislike David Brooks is because he is so focused on the chatting classes. In his latest piece, 'People Like Us', he suggests that our problems with racial and cultural segregation are largely ones of personal choice and human nature manifested into neighborhoods. No way.

Over at VisionCircle, I try to explain at length what is wrong with his analysis, but I'll summarize it here. Brooks' light treatment of Bobos as consumers of houses and neighborhoods and lifestyles underscores the flaccid logic of 'diversity' as something for whitefolks to consume. His analysis cannot stand the scrutiny of class or race. Americans without the mobility to buy new homes anywhere they like are not self-segregating, they are immobile and stuck in the same old neighborhoods with the same old racial segregation free markets do nothing to change.

Posted by mbowen at August 15, 2003 09:44 PM

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