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Thinking About Segregation and Integration
An Interactive Scientific Exploration Using Models

Introduction The Basic Model Exploration Tips An Advanced Model References

Some Implications of the Model

  1. A very mild preference for being surrounded by people like oneself will transform a random population into a clustered/segregated one.
  2. A 50% preference corresponds to a wish to have at least half one's neighbors be like onself or, stated another way, a willingness to have 50% of one's neighbors be different from one. Nonetheless, a clustered/segregated population results. This is not the desired state for any individual but instead results from the fact that some people in the randomly distributed population will be unhappy because more than 50% of their neighbors are different from themselves. It is the random movement of these people that triggers a cascade of movements and this cascade of random movements that results in the segregated/clustered distribution.

  3. The relation between similarity preference and degree of clustering/segregation is not a straightforward linear one but rather one in which fairly large changes in preference have little effect on clustering over some ranges of values and fairly small changes in preference produce fairly large changes in clustering over other ranges of values.
  4. Such non-linear relationships characterize many phenomena resulting from "cooperative behavior", ie behavior in which the behavior of each individual element is influenced by the behavior of other elements. In the present case, there is an important practical implication.

  5. It is very hard to produce an unclustered/integrated population from a random or a segregated population by altering the magnitude of the preference to have people like onself in one's surroundings.
  6. Segregated populations result from values through most of the range.

  7. Integrated populations much more easily result if one changes the character of the preference from a preference for similarity to a preference for difference.
  8. Under these circumstances an integrated population occurs for a wide range of preference values starting with either a random or a segregated population

  9. An interesting question: Is a random unclustered population the same as an integrated unclustered population (as emerges when the preference is for difference)?
  10. How might this be tested within the constraints of the model?

  11. Good models raise as many questions as they answer. What additional new ones does this one raise?
  12. .

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