Alan Ehrenhalt, author of two very good books, reviews The Big Sort, which disucces how "diversity" might be driving us into relatively homogeneous enclaves. Ehrenhalt is semi-persuaded that we’re inclined to choose to live close to people more or less like ourselves politically. The book looks interesting enough to assign in a class this fall.
My question: is the sorting driven by politics or is it a product of considerations like "family-friendliness," income, and education? If, for example, I have a growing family and either can’t afford private schools or have to choose between carrying a mortgage burden or a tuition burden, I might sort myself into a suburb or exurb. If I don’t have kids or if I can cover tuition and a big mortgage payment, I have the wherewithal to live in an "interesting" urban or suburban neighborhood. It’s obviously more complicated than this, but, once again, I’m busy.