Greater Diversity = Lower Social Capital?
A Harvard political scientist finds that diversity hurts civic life. What happens when a liberal scholar unearths an inconvenient truth? From "The Downside of Diversity" in Sunday's Boston Globe:
In his findings, Putnam writes that those in more diverse communities tend to "distrust their neighbors, regardless of the color of their skin, to withdraw even from close friends, to expect the worst from their community and its leaders, to volunteer less, give less to charity and work on community projects less often, to register to vote less, to agitate for social reform more but have less faith that they can actually make a difference, and to huddle unhappily in front of the television."
"People living in ethnically diverse settings appear to 'hunker down' -- that is, to pull in like a turtle," Putnam writes.
Higher diversity means lower social capital.