Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Maps of Population Sorting in the US

The New York Times published a series of maps that show where certain television shows are popular. The sharp geographic divisions have been a useful tool to marketers and it seems that political campaigns also understand the useful of this tool.  According the Times' article, the Trump campaign may marketed their anti-Obamacare ads to NCIS watchers and anti-immigration to viewers of the Walking Dead.  But these geographic divisions are built on decades of "sorting" policies that drove people into particular parts of the country.  The co-building of suburbs and highways relocated many white families out of cities, while dividing poor and more affluent blacks into different neighborhoods in cities.  This sorting process tore apart social relationships, shifted political power and created the demographic maps -- and social divisions -- we live with today.  It is a geography of suspicion and intergroup hatred, which spell disaster for collectively managing the massive problems that face us all.

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