Seeing race: Teaching residential segregation with the racial dot map

Charles Seguin, Annette Nierobisz, Karen Phelan Kozlowski

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Students commonly hold erroneous notions of a "post-racial" world and individualistic worldviews that discount the role of structure in social outcomes. Jointly, these two preconceived beliefs can be powerful barriers to effective teaching of racial segregation: Students may be skeptical that racial segregation continues to exist, and abstract statistical representations or other sociological research may not be sufficiently vivid or compelling to dissuade students from their prior beliefs. In this article, we present an exercise that uses an interactive map of racial residence patterns to help students see evidence of racial segregation for themselves. Qualitative and quantitative findings, from testing this exercise in Introduction to Sociology courses at two distinct schools by separate instructors, suggest that this exercise is effective at helping college students grasp the extent of racial segregation in America.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)142-151
Number of pages10
JournalTeaching Sociology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science


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