It is pretty amazing how the social landscape of a certain place can be traced back that far into history. Overall, I agree with Duncan's findings. The numbers speak for themselves. In comparison to Bickford's article, Duncan found that people tend to segregate themselves just as much as the built environment does. Although this town was zoned in a way that promoted segregation among social classes, the people in the town "raise flags" as signals to their neighbors. These flags psychologically let other people know who you align yourself with. The roots of segregation run so deep that, when "newcommers" or lower class individuals try to desegregate, it is met with stark opposition.
To compare both of the articles, I believe Duncan would counteract Bickford's thesis that the built environment is hostile to democratic involvement. It can be concluded from Duncan's findings that even if we were to create a vacuum where there is no built constraints, people would still self-segregate. This touches on two aspects of social behavior. People fear change and people fear what is different. People also get very defensive when forced to change or are forced to intact with the different.
I found interesting Duncan's assessment on how the Alpha social group didn't feel the need to display their wealth outwardly towards others. Since the Alpha group was old rich, they had much more subtle, but refined tastes. Whereas the Beta social group wanted to "see and be seen". This group was seen to be "new rich" and wanted everyone to know their good fortune. The term McMansion comes to mind. This term basically describes a lavishly designed house on a tiny lot. It is not uncommon to have these huge houses built almost on top of each other in subdivision. Purely a Beta common thread. It is fairly prevalent in the affluent suburbs of Chicago.