Spatial Stereotypes and Racial Inequality – UROP Spring Symposium 2021

Spatial Stereotypes and Racial Inequality

Sophie Shao


Pronouns: she/her

Research Mentor(s): Nick Camp, Assistant Professor
Research Mentor School/College/Department: Organizational Studies, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts
Presentation Date: Thursday, April 22, 2021
Session: Session 5 (3pm-3:50pm)
Breakout Room: Room 5
Presenter: 6

Event Link


Is space racialized? Often, we overlook this association between race and space even though segregated neighborhoods and other public institutions provide a compelling case for such an association. Centuries of discriminatory policies have exacerbated the separation of race, creating explicitly and implicitly demarcated spaces for Blacks and non-Blacks. These aforementioned Black spaces are often entrenched in concentrated poverty and ghettoization, precipitated by disinvestment and discriminatory policies. The existence of these segregated spaces are suspected to have created spatial stereotypes, in which negative associations have been made about the spaces that Black people occupy. This project’s overarching goal is to investigate how associations between impoverished urban spaces and African-Americans influence the broader social perception of race. To do so, we used a sample of google street view images of both high and low income census tracts in urban cities. After presenting a series of photographs from either low or high SES neighborhoods, survey takers were given a racially ambiguous face and asked to identify the face’s race. Moreover, we are seeking to answer the question of whether space is racialized.

Authors: Sophie Shao, Nick Camp
Research Method: Survey Research

lsa logoum logo