|Title of host publication||International encyclopedia of human geography|
|Editors||Nigel Thrift, Rob Kitchin|
|Place of Publication||Amsterdam|
|Number of pages||7|
|Publication status||Published - 2009|
Segregation is the separation out of people within society on the basis of race, ethnicity, or religion. That separation has historically included both an individual’s activities outside of the home (i.e., institutional segregation) and their residential location. Segregation, for example, of the African-American population in the southern states of America during the first two-thirds of the twentieth century included separate: educational instruction, public facilities, restaurants, and transportation. The most extreme form of segregation was apartheid in South Africa. Despite the removal of this institutional segregation in most developed countries the separation of people on the basis of race, ethnicity, or religion in terms of residential location persists. Much of this residential segregation relates to the low educational attainment levels of the unskilled ethnic population, which determines their position in the labor market and in turn their position in the housing market. Some of that residential segregation is viewed as a positive outcome – where it provides support for recent migrants – other forms are considered bad. Where spatial assimilation is the public policy, intergenerational residential segregation is viewed as problematic (i.e., that of the African-Americans in American cities). By contrast, under multiculturalism, the development of separate ethnic communities is desirable in the long term – a city of communities. So despite support for multicultural immigration programs in most developed countries, supporting the goals of spatial assimilation and multiculturalism are considered by many to be in conflict.