Does Diversity Actually Breed Social Isolation?

William Joyce

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A Harvard prof thinks so:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/17/magazine/17wwln-idealab-t.html?_r=1&ref=magazine&oref=slogin

But what if diversity had an even more complex and pervasive effect? What if, at least in the short term, living in a highly diverse city or town led residents to distrust pretty much everybody, even people who looked like them? What if it made people withdraw into themselves, form fewer close friendships, feel unhappy and powerless and stay home watching television in the evening instead of attending a neighborhood barbecue or joining a community project?

This is the unsettling picture that emerges from a huge nationwide telephone survey by the famed Harvard political scientist Robert Putnam and his colleagues. “Diversity seems to trigger not in-group/out-group division, but anomie or social isolation,” Putnam writes in the June issue of the journal Scandinavian Political Studies. “In colloquial language, people living in ethnically diverse settings appear to ‘hunker down’ — that is, to pull in like a turtle.”


They'll scream bloody murder over this, but the fact of the matter is that 'diversity' was always a false god.
 

Annie

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A Harvard prof thinks so:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/17/magazine/17wwln-idealab-t.html?_r=1&ref=magazine&oref=slogin

But what if diversity had an even more complex and pervasive effect? What if, at least in the short term, living in a highly diverse city or town led residents to distrust pretty much everybody, even people who looked like them? What if it made people withdraw into themselves, form fewer close friendships, feel unhappy and powerless and stay home watching television in the evening instead of attending a neighborhood barbecue or joining a community project?

This is the unsettling picture that emerges from a huge nationwide telephone survey by the famed Harvard political scientist Robert Putnam and his colleagues. “Diversity seems to trigger not in-group/out-group division, but anomie or social isolation,” Putnam writes in the June issue of the journal Scandinavian Political Studies. “In colloquial language, people living in ethnically diverse settings appear to ‘hunker down’ — that is, to pull in like a turtle.”


They'll scream bloody murder over this, but the fact of the matter is that 'diversity' was always a false god.
Very interesting, actually the initial conclusions remind me of what we studied in sociology 25 years ago. It is similar to what was considered to be underlying the Kitty Genovese tragedy.
 

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