The Death of Diversity

Robert Putnam, the Harvard don who in the controversial bestseller "Bowling Alone" announced the decline of communal-mindedness amid the rise of home-alone couch potatoes, has completed a mammoth study of the effects of ethnic diversity on communities. His researchers did 30,000 interviews in 41 U.S. communities. Short version: People in ethnically diverse settings don't want to have much of anything to do with each other. "Social capital" erodes. Diversity has a downside. ... rsity.html

Link to a lecture by Putnam that outlines his findings.

Diversity and Community in the Twenty-first Century ... ookieSet=1

We considered the possibility that the effects of diversity on social capital might vary from group to group. Perhaps people in poor neighbourhoods are more sensitive to diversity than people in upscale neighbourhoods (or the reverse). Perhaps women are more likely to hunker in the presence of diversity than men (or the reverse). Perhaps conservatives are more allergic to diversity than liberals (or the reverse). Perhaps the basic relationship is different for different racial and ethnic groups. Perhaps younger people are less upset by diversity than older generations. Our base model directly controls for most of these variables, but the more subtle question here involves interaction effects: Does the relationship between diversity and sociability vary between men and women, upscale and downscale neighbourhoods, liberals and conservatives, whites and non-whites, young people and older generations?

The short answer is basically ‘no’.