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Michael Bader

Associate Professor of Sociology and Policy, American University

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About Michael

Bader studies how cities and neighborhoods have evolved since the Fair Housing Act passed in 1968. He links long-term patterns of neighborhood racial change to the ways that race and class influence the housing search process. He studies how these changes affect the health and well-being of Americans and potentially exacerbate racial health inequality. To accomplish this research, Bader has developed methodological tools that combine survey data with big to study neighborhood environments. He is the Associate Director of the Metropolitan Policy Center at American University and Director of the DC Area Survey.

In the News

"Trump Fixed One Racially Unfair Tax Policy. Now the Democrats Want To Bring It Back.," Michael Bader (with Alana Hackshaw), Taxes/Opinion, Politico, September 29, 2021.
Michael Bader quoted on the idea that if you’re building housing and you’re subject to the Fair Housing Act, you shouldn’t have, in those particular units, the legacy effects of segregation, "America Is More Diverse Than Ever — But Still Segregated" The Washington Post, May 10, 2018.
Michael Bader quoted on Maps by Anna Scott, "This Is a Black Neighborhood. You Aren’t Black" KCRW, October 3, 2017.
"L.A. Is Resegregating – And Whites Are a Major Reason Why," Michael Bader, Opinion, Los Angeles Times, April 1, 2016.
Michael Bader's research on instead of using fieldwork to evaluate how friendly a neighborhood is to pedestrians computer labs are being used discussed by Henry Grabar, "Say Goodbye to the Clipboard, City Surveyors," Next City, March 10, 2015.
Michael Bader quoted on how maybe the worst places for your health are where fast-food restaurants won’t locate by Gary Buiso, "More Fast Food, Fewer Fat Teens" New York Post, June 3, 2013.

Publications

"The Fragmented Evolution of Racial Integration since the Civil Rights Movement" (with Siri Warkentien). Sociological Science 3, no. 135 (2016): 166.

Presents a shift from "white flight" in the 1970s to a more gradual process of racial change in the 1980s-2000s. Indicates that many currently integrated neighborhoods are on paths toward increasing segregation.

"Talk on the Playground: The Neighborhood Context of School Choice" (with Annette Lareau and Shani A. Evans). City and Community 18, no. 483 (2019): 508.

Shows that middle-class, white parents living in a large city relied on word-of-mouth that they gleaned at playgrounds to choose schools for their children and whether they moved rather than test scores or other measures. Highlights the important ways that the places people live now shape where they end up in the future.

"The Promise, Practicalities, and Perils of Virtually Auditing Neighborhoods Using Google Street View" (with Stephan J. Mooney, Blake Bennett, and Andrew G. Rundle). The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 669, no. 18 (2016): 40.

Elaborates on how more and more researchers are collecting neighborhood data from Google Street View.  Provides an overview of those efforts, suggests best practices, and warns about practical and ethical problems associated with the strategy.

"Diversity in the D.C. Area: Findings From the 2016 D.C. Area Survey," Center for Latin American and Latino Studies American University, 2016.

Investigates how D.C. area residents perceive and experience racial diversity in their lives, American University conducted a comprehensive survey of their attitudes. Provides initial findings from that study.

"Community Attraction and Avoidance in Chicago: What’s Race Got To Do With It?" (with Maria Krysan). The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 660, no. 261 (2015): 281.

Demonstrates that race influences where people look for housing in the Chicago metropolitan area. Mentions that it has a particularly strong influence on the preferences of whites that cannot be explained by school quality or crime.