Barrioization

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Barrioization is a term used in the field of Human Geography.

It is defined by geographer James Curtis as the "dramatic" increase in Hispanic population in a given neighborhood. It is most likely to be related to the situation in the United States of America. The origin of the word is barrio, which is the Spanish word for neighborhood.

Situation in Los Angeles, United States[edit]

Over the last four decades, the greatest migration flow into California and the south-western United States has come from Latin America and the Caribbean, especially Mexico. In the 2000 census, the city of Los Angeles had nearly 3.7 million residents, over 46% of whom were Hispanic, over 11% black or African American, and 10% Asian (using Census categories for race and ethnicity). The Hispanic population in the city grew from accounting for 39.32% of the population in 1990 to 46% by 2000.

The area of south-eastern Los Angeles County is today "home to one of the largest and highest concentrations of Latinos in Southern California," according to a study by geographer James Curtis. 4 decades ago, this area of LA was populated by working-class whites who were segregated from the African American and Hispanic populations through discriminatory policies and practices such as blockbusting and redlining. Until the late 1960s, south-eastern LA was home to corporations such as General Motors, Bethlehem Steel, and Weiser Lock. During the 1970s and 1980s, the corporations began to close as the process of deindustrialization fundamentally changed where and how goods are produced. As plants closed and white labourers left the neighbourhoods, a Hispanic population migrated into south-eastern LA. A housing crunch followed by the 1980s, as more and more Hispanic population flowed into the region. With a cheap labour supply now readily available in the region again, companies returned, this time focusing on smaller-scale production of textiles, pharmaceuticals, furniture, and toys. In addition, the region attracted industrial-toxic waste disposal and petrochemical refining facilities.

In his study of the region, Curtis records the changes to the cultural landscape. He calls the change in neighbourhoods whereby the Hispanic population jumped from 4% in 1960 to over 90% Hispanic in 2000 a process of barrioization. With the huge growing of the Hispanic population, the cultural landscape also started to change.

References[edit]