Ethnic Diversity and Social Trust

Peter Dinesena and Kim Sønderskovb, American Sociological Review, April 21, 2015

Abstract

We argue that residential exposure to ethnic diversity reduces social trust. Previous within-country analyses of the relationship between contextual ethnic diversity and trust have been conducted at higher levels of aggregation, thus ignoring substantial variation in actual exposure to ethnic diversity. In contrast, we analyze how ethnic diversity of the immediate micro-context—where interethnic exposure is inevitable—affects trust. We do this using Danish survey data linked with register-based data, which enables us to obtain precise measures of the ethnic diversity of each individual’s residential surroundings. We focus on contextual diversity within a radius of 80 meters of a given individual, but we also compare the effect in the micro-context to the impact of diversity in more aggregate contexts. Our results show that ethnic diversity in the micro-context affects trust negatively, whereas the effect vanishes in larger contextual units. This supports the conjecture that interethnic exposure underlies the negative relationship between ethnic diversity in residential contexts and social trust.

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  • We argue that residential exposure to ethnic diversity reduces social trust.

    Tut Patterson argued the same thing in 1954.

    Previous within-country analyses of the relationship between contextual ethnic diversity and trust have been conducted at higher levels of aggregation

    Too much ethnic diversity causes me aggravation.

    thus ignoring substantial variation in actual exposure to ethnic diversity

    What that means is that previous intra-country studies look at pretty large swaths and presume that everything with in the swath is as uniformly diverse and the lives of people that live in the swath are exposed to diversity as the racial percentages of the swath’s residents suggest. Plain words, I could live in a half black half white county, but rarely ever see or experience blacks. I could tell some social scientist, therefore, that I enjoy my life, and he or she would conclude that since my county is diverse, that diversity creates happy individual social conditions. But in such a scenario, I would rarely experience blacks within 262.5 feet (80 meters) of myself.

    • TruthBeTold

      A few weeks back I was posting to a story on another website and I said ‘diversity was not a strength and that it only let to hostility and ultimately violence’.

      The replies came back, ‘I don’t believe that’.

      People refuse to believe the obvious. They want to believe diversity is a strength even when the proof that it isn’t is all around them.

      That’s why I have long said that liberalism is a mental defect characterized by an inability to accept reality.

      I don’t know how to get through to people who actively work to deny realty.

      • De’Ontavious Jizzaiah Jones

        You are absolutely correct and social media like Facebook is a laboratory to see this in action.I have some very liberal friends who just refuse to accept facts no matter how much evidence I put before them. They refuse to accept that black kids are very violent and disrespectful in school and that is why their suspension and expulsion rate is so much higher than any other ethnic group . No matter how many school videos and news reports I post they just cover their eyes and ears and refuse to look at the evidence and instead insist its all because of racism. They delight in being part of the black lives matter movement but refuse any acknowledgement of knock out attacks which have left predominantly white victims permanently brain damaged and dead. My posts about black mall brawls and elderly rape are also met with complete silence . And to top it off, almost all of these liberal friends are atheists and post constantly about delusional Christians. When I point out their own delusions about black crime , violence and dysfunction …..Silence. Several of the these liberals unfriended me after I retired and then felt free to post what I wanted. They did not want to see factual evidence in their Facebook feed to contradict their liberal template that racism is at the bottom of all black problems. Meanwhile, the majority of these same liberals who unfriended me lived in all white neighborhoods and worked in all white workplaces by virtue of their specialty – IT and as psychologists for the Dept of Defense.And so yes, I agree with you – I do not know either how to get through to people who actively deny reality. And I have concluded there is no way as long as these people live and work and socialize far away from blacks. I do not say minorities because when I lived in Orlando, FL for 12 years – 10 of those years were in a neighborhood that was half white and half Puerto Rican and I was perfectly happy. The PRs were professional, working and home owning and I can speak Spanish and also lived in PR for 1 year on an Army assignment. Then came the FL real estate crash and several apt bldgs started accepting section 8 and blacks began moving in . In 6 months the feeling changed in the neighborhood for me when i started seeing lower class blacks in the supermarket, blaring rap from cars, and single mothers pushing baby carriages around all day AND break ins started and 2 separate all black burglary rings were investigated and shut down. I no longer felt safe in my neighborhood so I eventually moved to a 90+ % white area.

        • TruthBeTold

          I’m not overstating this. I believe Millennials are a real danger. They
          are the avant-garde of the American ‘Cultural Revolution’.

          Mocking Christians for ‘believing in fairytales from an old book’ is becoming increasing pervasive on any message forum on any subject.

          Millennials believe they are ‘the future’ and they’re throwing their political weight around by hoping on the trending social media idea of the moment.

          Some will change as they grow up and have families. If they put their kids in public schools in urban areas, they’re going to quickly get a taste of the demands made by minorities.

          I don’t know what the future holds but the ideas and ideals of the Millennials are a clear and present danger. They have no idea what championing absurd ideas today is going to have on their future and the future of their children.

    • Light from the East

      Exposure to ethnic diversity also leads to stereotype and segregated living pattern. When you have one outsider, you may think it is his/her personal trait. He/she has no choice but to assimilate because there is only one outsider in white majority. But when you have millions of them, you quickly know it is not coincidence that a group of people keep acting and showing certain ways of behaviors and lifestyle, increasing the two results above.

  • Steve_in_Vermont

    Coincidentally I was just thinking the very same thing.

  • DaveMed

    We focus on contextual diversity within a radius of 80 meters of a given individual, but we also compare the effect in the micro-context to the impact of diversity in more aggregate contexts. Our results show that ethnic diversity in the micro-context affects trust negatively, whereas the effect vanishes in larger contextual units.
    ________________________________________________________________________________
    I wish that I had access to the full article, but this basically sounds like the concept of White Flight.

    I.e., most people will tolerate “diversity” as long as they don’t have to actually experience it themselves, day to day.

    • Tarczan

      “Our results show that ethnic diversity in the micro-context affects trust negatively, whereas the effect vanishes in larger contextual units.”

      Or, in unscientific talk, “the farther away they are, the more you love them”

      • Thanks for clearing that up.

    • TomIron361

      do people actually talk like that?

      • DaveMed

        In journals? Absolutely.

        I have more experience with medical journals, but papers in each discipline will employ the terms common in their respective fields.

        • One of the things I loved about the Japanese engineers with whom I worked was that they were unafraid to be honest with me. They called the Greaseritos “Low-Riders”. Honesty is a rare and wonderful thing.

          • DaveMed

            Triple- or quadruple-entendre there, eh?

          • Lexonaut

            By any chance do you know Gary Asakawa?

      • Tony Murphy

        All the time in academia. Especially in the Social “Sciences” where it compensates for the underlying lack of complexity and intellectual rigor.

  • Luca

    In other words: Birds of a feather should flock together.

    • Lexonaut

      You’ve got it. They won’t award you an honorary PhD for that but I will, if you send $1,000 to my PayPal account.

      Do you want gold or silver lettering for your name? The $1,000 price is for the silver. Gold will be an additional $500.

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      • Luca

        Why would I want a college degree? You know what BS stands for, right? Well an MS means More of the Same and a PhD means Piled Higher and Deeper.

        • Lexonaut

          For some reason I’m reminded of a joke, the end of which has G*d cutting the price of a certain something to zero. The punchline has Moses saying …

          “Commandments are free today? I’ll take ten.”

          Are you sure you won’t reconsider?

  • anony

    This confirms my belief that “Sociological studies”, and much of Sociology are utter nonsense. After all, grandma told us those things decades ago as posted earlier.

  • MekongDelta69

    Blah, blah, blah = people trust their own kind more.

    Now GIBSMEDAT Ph.D.

  • ejXinMI

    This cannot be a surprise to any sentient being. But they get points for “Best Academic Circumlocution”.

  • NoMosqueHere

    Back in the 1960s – 70s, you could walk into any public building in any american city without being frisked; the same was true of boarding airplanes. What changed? Well for one thing, in the 60s & 70s America was still around 90 percent white.

    • More on point: Back in the 60’s and even 70’s, if a black person walked into a large office building and was not dressed in business attire, he would be stopped and questioned, “Sir, what are you doing here? Do you have business in this building, sir?” Ditto for any blacks traveling through all White suburban areas. Cops would routinely keep an eye on them and sometimes stop and question them. But now, that is called “profiling” and has become a no no. So now, we must treat everyone like a potential criminal or terrorist. Yeah, ain’t liberalism great!

      • Chasmania

        Even more to point: Blacks typically KNEW better. Racial agitators destroyed that societal wall.

      • Rob

        Negroes knew their place and we made it known to them. Now because they are free, they are all over the place.

        • Alexandra1973

          And if they stepped out of line they were put back really quick.

          • Rob

            And that was done with efficiency.

    • phillyguy

      I miss the good old days

  • a1781054

    Putnam determined the same thing. I think his study was from around 2011. He concluded that ethnic diversity reduces social capital and that people tended to “hunker down” when living in diverse areas. Do a web search for the Putnam diversity study. It should show up.

    • Yeah, you sure bet that I “hunker down” when more of the “diversities” are in the area. Stands to reason.

    • LeonNJ

      I hear “Diversity” is only a few miles away. Let’s hunker down!

    • Paleoconn

      Thanks. Followed by his book, Bowling Alone.

  • ricpic

    This has been known forever and makes no difference to the social engineers.

    • Jarl

      Yep. They couldn’t care less. If that is the case then they will just say we need to all blend together into “one race” and it will all be fixed.

    • Chasmania

      What they will take away from this is ” We need to fix this ! ” .

      The obvious answer to this dilemma from the leftist stand point is easily reached. You simply ELIMINATE racial differences by interbreeding and destroying those boundaries.

  • BeckySunnybrook

    See Robert Putnam’s “E Pluribus Unum: Diversity and Community in the Twenty-first Century”.

  • TheCogitator

    While the liberal collectivists preach “diversity” to us, they never suggest that Mexico should have more gringos, or that Rwanda should have more white Europeans or Orientals. “Diversity” and all the ills it brings is reserved for us.

  • Hammerheart

    Proximity + Diversity = War

  • SentryattheGate

    Clash of civilizations; yes, some combinations clash less than others.

  • De Doc

    Common sense always must be tested in academia. The results must be questioned and the study repeated ad nauseum in the vain attempt to trump this common sense.

  • Ex-Liberal

    It’s quite obvious that ethnic homogeneity and cultural similarities breed national success, trust, and general prosperity. Look at East Asia. Nations like Japan are ethnically homogeneous, respect traditions, and don’t bend over to the failed ideas of ultra liberalism and multiculturalism. Now, look at France. Specifically, Marseille. Marseille is 35% Arab and the same percentage is muslim.

    Marseille suffers from gang wars, de facto segregation, extreme poverty, and sharia courts. Homosexuals and Jews are leaving that god forsaken city in droves. Most whites in the city have been shown to vote Front National. Marseille used to be a trading hub, a true emerald of culture in France. Now, it’s quickly devolving into Damascus.

    • BeckySunnybrook

      It is a shame, since the Marseille area is/was so lovely. It was the land of Marcel Pagnol, but now what a transformed land.

  • Lexonaut

    “This supports the conjecture that interethnic exposure underlies the
    negative relationship between ethnic diversity in residential contexts
    and social trust.”

    In other words, liberal ideas about equality of the races do not survive actual contact with minorities.

  • Light from the East

    It’s pretty obvious. For those who don’t have experience with other ethnic groups, they automatically assume that this outsider has the same ability and only with different looks. But for those who really do, they understand the true nature of them, a lot of them, simply by observing the repeating incidents happened around them, lowering the trust toward that group.

  • Hilis Hatki

    I have met good people of all races and ethnicities and they are merely the eddies of the flow of their river.

  • American Tax Payer

    Africans will merely kill you but asians will consume up every last resource you have and leave you with nothing but a bloated belly from starvation. Asians are the threat, not the hispanics or blacks. Blacks need a firm hand, that’s all.

    Hispanics will leave once they can no longer live off whitey, the blacks will continue keeping their own numbers low just like they always have (killing each other) but the asians, the asians will stay to continue taking over the IT Field, Financial and Medical Fields and “own” every last American Gas Station, hotel, doughnut shop and chain restaurant available. And real estate. And they’ve been very busy working on Congress. Soon, they’ll officially “own” that too. They already do regarding immigration as they import more of Asia’s population into America than from anywhere else.

  • BeckySunnybrook

    Another interesting point from the Putnam piece (“E Pluribus…”) was that not only did diversity reduce trust among different races, but it also had the effect of reducing trust among people of the same race. In a diverse environment, everyone “hunkers down”, “pulls in like a turtle”, etc.

  • Transpower

    Egalitarianism is the biggest threat to America. This is the Leftist belief that there is no real difference between individuals. And it’s completely at odds with reality! All of us are different in innumerable ways–except, of course, in our equality of political rights. It is immoral to force various races and ethnic groups to live together! “Busing” to achieve “racial balance” has always been contrary to liberty. “Affirmative action” is contrary to the operation of a meritocratic society.

  • Northern American-Nationalist

    “Our results show that ethnic diversity in the micro-context affects
    trust negatively, WHEREAS THE EFFECT VANISHES IN LARGER CONTEXTUAL UNITS.”

    WAIT, what was that? Did anyone else catch that or did I get that wrong?

    It seems they are claiming that ethnic diversity and trust is positively correlated when thinking about the whole metro area, country, or planet even, perhaps? This has to be a study based on Danes’ attitudes!
    Only Whites would ignore their distrust born of firsthand, “diverse” experiences and still assume it’s just them or their neighborhood; “The rest of those vibrant, poor dears out there somewhere are probably trustworthy!” “After all, we’re all just human,” they’d say.