Desegregation In A "color-blind" Era: Parents Navigating School Assignment And Choice In Louisville, Ky

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Cultural Foundations of Education


Sari Biklen


busing;color-blind racism;cultural reproduction;desegregation;school assignment;school choice

Subject Categories

Educational Sociology | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Sociology


This dissertation is a qualitative study of how parents in Louisville, Kentucky navigate the marketplace of schools. The study focuses on how parents choose schools in a metropolitan area where the primary public school district, Jefferson County Public Schools, which was originally racially desegregated by court order, instituted an assignment plan that relies on a measure of race, income and education level in neighborhood clusters to assign students to schools. I argue that this assignment plan, although crafted to increase equity among students, is resisted by parental decision-making. Parents represent this resistance as "color-blind," connected to the logistical and academic needs of their children. The study uses two levels of analysis: a policy analysis that examines the strengths and weaknesses of the assignment plan, and a critical analysis of how parents both understand the plan and use their cultural capital to reproduce their own social location through the school choice process.


SURFACE provides description only. Full text may be available to ProQuest subscribers. Please ask your Librarian for assistance.

This document is currently not available here.