The Schelling Segregation Model Essay

The Schelling Segregation Model Essay

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In this essay, I aim to show that given Carl Hempel’s (1942) deductive-nomological (DN) theory of explanation and Bas C. van Fraassen’s (1980) pragmatic theory of explanation, Schelling only partially explains neighbourhood segregation, because multiple causal factors and background conditions ought to be taken into account. I will first outline how Schelling explains neighbourhood segregation, and then discuss the following aspects to show my conclusion:

1. Schelling’s model in the context of the DN theory of explanation
2. Schelling’s model in the context of the pragmatic theory of explanation
3. How to explain neighbourhood segregation…

An emphasis will be placed on the first and second to allow more thorough justification.

In this essay, neighbourhood will be defined in terms of “neighbourhood spaces” .

Schelling’s Explanation

Schelling’s explanation of neighbourhood segregation is outlined below:

In a local mixed neighbourhood of groups A and B, everyone is happy, given that:
(i) Relative to their location, everyone of a given colour has the same tastes and preferences for the colour mixture of their neighbour(s),
(ii) Everyone defines their neighbourhood according to their own location,
(iii) Everyone’s identity is publicly observable,
(iv) Everyone cares about the colour of their neighbour(s),
(v) Everyone is able to observe the number of people (i.e. the effective colour ratio) in the neighbourhood,
(vi) Individuals of group A are not outnumbered by the neighbours of group B by more than two-to-one, and vice versa. Alternatively, at least half of her neighbours ought to be the same type as them.

Schelling studies two random individuals at every point in time in the model. If the individuals are both ...

... middle of paper ...

...n the Philosophy of Social Science. United States: MIT Press. Pg. 71-78.

Van Fraassen, Bas C. (1980). The Scientific Image. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Zhang, Junfu. (2011). Tipping and Residential Segregation: A Unified Schelling Model. Journal of Regional Science. 51 (1), Pg. 167-193.

Cariani, Fabrizio. (2001). VAN FRAASSEN AND THE PRAGMATIC THEORY OF EXPLANATION. Available: Last accessed 6th Nov 2013.

Folse. (2003). The D-N Model of Justification. Available: Last accessed 6th Nov 2013.

Merriam Webster (2013). Feng Shui. Available: Last accessed 8th Nov 2013.

Woodward, James. (Winter 2011 Edition). Scientific Explanation. Available: Last accessed 6th Nov 2013.

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