Diversity and Social Cohesion
Since the seminal work of the American political scientist, Robert Putnam (2007) many papers have looked at the relationship between generalized trust and diversity usually using cross-sectional survey data. The results have been mixed. A lot of the studies relying on US data report a negative association between increasing diversity and trust. In the early 2000s, Alesina and La Ferrara (2002) looked at the General Social Survey and found evidence that racial fragmentation is strongly and negatively associated with generalized trust but not with trust in institutions. The negative effect of racial fragmentation appeared to be sticky and to extend to a variety of public policy and social cohesion outcomes (Alesina and La Ferrara, 2005). Using the Social Capital Benchmark Study, Putnam (2007) painted a vivid picture of the deterioration of social life and the fracturing of social glue in the US with increasing diversity identified as one of the main culprits. In Europe, some survey research is similarly pessimistic (Gesthuizen et al., 2009, Meer and Tolsma, 2014, Tolsma and Van der Meer, 2017, Dinesen et al., 2020); while some studies point to a range of possible explanations including socio-economic disadvantage, lack of contact between groups that can foster reliability (Demireva and Heath, 2014, Laurence and Heath, 2008, Becares et al., 2011, Sturgis et al., 2014). Even with Putnam’s Social Capital Benchmark Study data, some authors reach different conclusions. For example, Abascal and Baldassarri (2015) contest the negative effect ascribed to ethno-racial diversity showing that non-whites and immigrants are less trusting than native-born whites; and the compositional effect of them being relatively concentrated in heterogeneous communities should not be underestimated – pre-existing attitudinal differences together with residential sorting in their view are responsible for the ecological association between diversity and trust. However, their approach of controlling for both the ethno-racial diversity and the proportion of white in local areas has been contested (Dinesen et al., 2020).
Research has demonstrated that perceived levels of diversity can also matter. Schaeffer and Koopmans (2016) find that perceived diversity can be negatively associated with trust but not in countries that encourage multiculturalism such as the Netherlands. Semyonov et al. (2012) show that perceived diversity can also be tightly related to perceptions of threat.
Migrants may not spread randomly in the receiving society. Their settling patterns can be constrained by housing availability, discrimination, prices (Fryer et al., 2013) that can persist in subsequent generations as well. Migrants and minorities may concentrate in less desirable areas as they are cheaper, through a higher reliance on social housing (Semyonov and Glikman, 2009), or can be pushed there by housing discrimination (Boeri et al., 2015). Migrants and minorities may also seek out ethnic enclaves as they can provide shelter from discrimination, and may provide ethnic goods and positive social and cultural connections (Bécares et al., 2009, Portes and Zhou, 1993, Zhou, 1994, Zhou, 2005). These areas, however, are often more deprived and can provide fewer good job prospects (Feng et al., 2015). It is therefore important to account for selection into ethnic enclaves when estimating their impact (Andersson et al., 2013, Boeri et al., 2015, Damm, 2009, Edin et al., 2003).
Extension of this Research Framework in MISOC
In a recent paper, Dr Demireva together with Dr. Zwysen examines whether living in perceived ethnic enclave is associated with negative labour market or social outcomes using data 2002 and 2014 waves of the European Social Survey. We find little evidence of threat to the economic power of majority members but residing in ethnic enclaves ss associated with poorer labour market outcomes for migrants and with job opportunities in the second generation. The ethnic enclave is associated with political threat to majority members as well.
- ABASCAL, M. & BALDASSARRI, D. 2015. Love thy neighbor? Ethnoracial diversity and trust reexamined. American Journal of Sociology, 121, 722-782.
- ALESINA, A. & LA FERRARA, E. 2002. Who trusts others? Journal of Public Economics, 207-234.
- ALESINA, A. & LA FERRARA, E. 2005. Ethnic diversity and economic performance. Journal of Economic Literature, 762-800.
- ANDERSSON, R., MUSTERD, S. & GALSTER, G. 2013. Neighbourhood ethnic composition and employment effects on immigrant incomes. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 40, 710-736.
- BÉCARES, L., NAZROO, J. & STAFFORD, M. 2009. The buffering effects of ethnic density on experienced racism and health. Health & Place, 15, 700-708.
- BECARES, L., STAFFORD, M., LAURENCE, J. & NAZROO, J. 2011. Composition, Concentration and Deprivation: Exploring their Association with Social Cohesion among Different Ethnic Groups in the UK. Urban Studies, 48, 2771-2787.
- BOERI, T., DE PHILIPPIS, M., PATACCHINI, E. & PELLIZZARI, M. 2015. Immigration, Housing Discrimination and Employment. The Economic Journal, 125, F82-F114.
- DAMM, ANNA P. 2009. Ethnic Enclaves and Immigrant Labor Market Outcomes: Quasi‐Experimental Evidence. Journal of Labor Economics, 27, 281-314.
- DEMIREVA, N. & HEATH, A. 2014. Diversity and the Civic Spirit in British Neighbourhoods: An Investigation with MCDS and EMBES 2010 Data. Sociology, 48, 643-663.
- DINESEN, P. T., SCHAEFFER, M. & SØNDERSKOV, K. M. 2020. Ethnic diversity and social trust: A narrative and meta-analytical review. Annual Review of Political Science, 23, 441-465.
- EDIN, P.-A., FREDRIKSSON, P. & ÅSLUND, O. 2003. Ethnic enclaves and the economic success of immigrants—Evidence from a natural experiment. The quarterly journal of economics, 118, 329-357.
- FENG, X., FLOWERDEW, R. & FENG, Z. 2015. Does neighbourhood influence ethnic inequalities in economic activity? Findings from the ONS Longitudinal Study. Journal of Economic Geography, 15, 169-194.
- FRYER, R. G., PAGER, D. & SPENKUCH, J. L. 2013. Racial disparities in job finding and offered wages. The Journal of Law and Economics, 56, 633-689.
- GESTHUIZEN, M., VAN DER MEER, T. & SCHEEPERS, P. 2009. Ethnic Diversity and Social Capital in Europe: Tests of Putnam’s Thesis in European Countries. Scandinavian Political Studies, 32, 121-142.
- KOOPMANS, R. & SCHAEFFER, M. 2016. Statistical and perceived diversity and their impacts on neighborhood social cohesion in Germany, France and the Netherlands. Social Indicators Research, 125, 853-883.
- LAURENCE, J. & HEATH, A. 2008. Predictors of community cohesion: multi-level modelling of the 2005 Citizenship Survey. Department for Communities and Local Government.
- MEER, T. V. D. & TOLSMA, J. 2014. Ethnic diversity and its effects on social cohesion. Annual Review of Sociology, 40, 459-478.
- PORTES, A. & ZHOU, M. 1993. The New 2nd-Generation – Segmented Assimilation and Its Variants. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 530, 74-96.
- PUTNAM, R. D. 2007. E pluribus unum: Diversity and community in the twenty‐first century the 2006 Johan Skytte Prize Lecture. Scandinavian political studies, 30, 137-174.
- SEMYONOV, M. & GLIKMAN, A. 2009. Ethnic Residential Segregation, Social Contacts, and Anti-Minority Attitudes in European Societies. European Sociological Review, 25, 693-708.
- SEMYONOV, M., GORODZEISKY, A. & GLIKMAN, A. 2012. Neighborhood ethnic composition and resident perceptions of safety in European countries. Social Problems, 59, 117-135.
- STURGIS, P., BRUNTON-SMITH, I., KUHA, J. & JACKSON, J. 2014. Ethnic diversity, segregation and the social cohesion of neighbourhoods in london. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 37, 1286-1309.
- TOLSMA, J. & VAN DER MEER, T. 2017. Losing wallets, retaining trust? The relationship between ethnic heterogeneity and trusting coethnic and non-coethnic neighbours and non-neighbours to return a lost wallet. Social indicators research, 131, 631-658.
- ZHOU, M. 1994. Segmented assimilation: issues, controversies and recent research on the new second generation. In: HIRSCHMAN, C., DEWIND, J. & KASINITZ, P. (eds.) The handbook of international migration: the American experience. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.
- ZHOU, M. 2005. Ethnicity as social capital: community-based institutions and embedded networks of social relations. In: LOURY, G. C., MODOOD, T. & TELES, S. M. (eds.) Ethnicity, Social Mobility and Public Policy. 1 ed. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.