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God's GangsBarrio Ministry, Masculinity, and Gang Recovery$
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Edward Orozco Flores

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781479850099

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479850099.001.0001

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Into the Underclass or Out of the Barrio?

Into the Underclass or Out of the Barrio?

Immigrant Integration in Latino Los Angeles

(p.63) 2 Into the Underclass or Out of the Barrio?
God's Gangs

Edward Orozco Flores

NYU Press

This chapter draws from census and American Community Survey data (ACS) to evaluate the fitness of Los Angeles as a case study in segmented assimilation theory. It reveals that many elements of segmented theory hold up, such as increases in immigration and the nonwhite population, as well as high poverty rates. Further analysis, though, reveals that respondents' inner-city neighborhoods were characterized not just by high poverty rates, but also by demographic dynamism—moving up and out. Over time, age cohorts in the respondents' high-gang-activity neighborhoods experienced less poverty and residents were more likely to relocate elsewhere. These demographic trends set a different backdrop for this study on gang recovery, one in which gradual, limited socioeconomic mobility exists in adulthood—rather than the overly dim underclass portrait painted by segmented assimilation scholars.

Keywords:   census, American Community Survey, Los Angeles, segmented assimilation theory, immigration, nonwhite population, high poverty rates, demographic dynamism, gang recovery, socioeconomic mobility

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