Same spaces, different races: what can cafeteria seating patterns tell us about intergroup relations in middle school?Cultur Divers Ethnic Minor Psychol. 2014 Oct; 20(4):611-20.CD
Using 2 segregation indices--an exposure index previously used in cafeteria studies and an entropy index used for the first time, to our knowledge, in this study--we examined racial segregation in seating patterns among ethnically diverse middle school students in their school cafeteria over a 2-week period. Given the representation of groups in the cafeteria each day, results indicated the expected amount of contact between Asian and White students, but more limited contact between Asian and Latino students and between White and Latino students. Latino students, who were in the numerical majority in the sample, appeared least likely to contribute to overall segregation in the cafeteria. Implications for using the cafeteria methodology to examine intergroup relations were discussed.