January 10, 2010

LA's cultural segregation

when people ask for my impression of LA, i usually tell them that the segregation (cultural, racial, socio-economic, etc.) is really striking.  although LA is diverse as a whole, neighborhood-by-neighborhood it's very homogeneous.  we've all seen the data to prove racial and socio-economic segregation, but the analysis of netflix rentals by region is a great way to see how strong cultural segregation is in LA.

what does segregation look like in LA? it looks like the invisible lines drawn by the 10 and the 405.

check out the map for obsessed, the thriller film about a skanky white girl trying to destroy beyonce's relationship:

or how about milk, the oscar winning biopic extolling the life of gay activist harvey milk:

call me a californiaphile (i am), but i think this analysis is really most interesting for big, spread out metros that don't have the "bullseye design" of urban-city-center-surrounded-by-white-washed suburbs (e.g., LA, the bay, and NY).  that said, i really recommend checking out all the maps, because it's chock-full of cultural/regional gems.

for example, the map for the movie adventureland is pretty much a city-by-city "do not enter" map if you're allergic to hipsters:  silver lake and culver city in LA, the mission and berkeley in the bay, east village and brooklyn in NY.


Jennifer said...

Very interesting! I didn't know such maps existed. My husband grew up in the yellow (read: white) patch in anaheim, though he informs me there was tons of "diversity" in the form of asians.

Jennifer said...

Not saying asians don't count... but if your school is half white and half asian, but all rich, straight, and conservative... I don't think it counts as diverse.

Merinitta said...

This is awesome. Thank you!