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Does ethnic diversity erode trust?: Putnam's hunkering-down thesis reconsidered

Does ethnic diversity erode trust?: Putnam's hunkering-down thesis reconsidered
Does ethnic diversity erode trust?: Putnam's hunkering-down thesis reconsidered
Attention in the social capital literature has turned of late to a consideration of the effect of ethnic diversity on civic attitudes and behaviours. Generally, the conclusions of empirical analysts in a range of contexts have been quite pessimistic; area level indices of diversity are found to be correlated with lower levels of public goods, civic behaviours, and trust. In this paper, we analyse data from a new survey in the UK with a sample size approaching 25000 individuals, which enables us to examine this question in greater detail than has generally been possible to date. We use a multi-level modeling approach to estimate the effect of ethnic diversity on trust in people in the local area and trust in people in general. In addition to the main effect of ethnic diversity, we incorporate a number of indicators of the socio-economic characteristics of individuals and the areas in which they live, and their interactions with diversity. Our results show no effect of ethnic diversity on trust in people in general. There is a small but significant association between diversity and trust in people in the local area. This relationship, however, is strongly conditioned by the social and economic characteristics of individuals and neighbourhoods
0007-1234
57-82
Sturgis, Patrick
b9f6b40c-50d2-4117-805a-577b501d0b3c
Brunton-Smith, Ian
fdb27626-ba05-4d54-b00a-12a8c0a82db3
Read, Sanna
a26ab020-4465-43bd-9631-7aea2b8f8d94
Allum, Nick
849dfc6c-00ce-4383-bb5c-4d67985f5576
Sturgis, Patrick
b9f6b40c-50d2-4117-805a-577b501d0b3c
Brunton-Smith, Ian
fdb27626-ba05-4d54-b00a-12a8c0a82db3
Read, Sanna
a26ab020-4465-43bd-9631-7aea2b8f8d94
Allum, Nick
849dfc6c-00ce-4383-bb5c-4d67985f5576

Sturgis, Patrick, Brunton-Smith, Ian, Read, Sanna and Allum, Nick (2011) Does ethnic diversity erode trust?: Putnam's hunkering-down thesis reconsidered. British Journal of Political Science, 41 (1), 57-82. (doi:10.1017/S0007123410000281).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Attention in the social capital literature has turned of late to a consideration of the effect of ethnic diversity on civic attitudes and behaviours. Generally, the conclusions of empirical analysts in a range of contexts have been quite pessimistic; area level indices of diversity are found to be correlated with lower levels of public goods, civic behaviours, and trust. In this paper, we analyse data from a new survey in the UK with a sample size approaching 25000 individuals, which enables us to examine this question in greater detail than has generally been possible to date. We use a multi-level modeling approach to estimate the effect of ethnic diversity on trust in people in the local area and trust in people in general. In addition to the main effect of ethnic diversity, we incorporate a number of indicators of the socio-economic characteristics of individuals and the areas in which they live, and their interactions with diversity. Our results show no effect of ethnic diversity on trust in people in general. There is a small but significant association between diversity and trust in people in the local area. This relationship, however, is strongly conditioned by the social and economic characteristics of individuals and neighbourhoods

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Published date: 1 January 2011
Organisations: Faculty of Social, Human and Mathematical Sciences, Social Statistics

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 80168
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/80168
ISSN: 0007-1234
PURE UUID: 94f1f723-8352-4632-a379-d4209ee13768
ORCID for Patrick Sturgis: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-1180-3493

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Date deposited: 24 Mar 2010
Last modified: 15 Jan 2019 01:33

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Author: Patrick Sturgis ORCID iD
Author: Ian Brunton-Smith
Author: Sanna Read
Author: Nick Allum

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