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Diversity and Community

2007-08-07 14:56:39.590866+00 by Dan Lyke 1 comments

I was not a fan of Bowling Alone[Wiki]. I thought Putnam completely handwaved changes in tolerance (more here), that he implied cause when there was only correlation, it was an interesting premise, and one that I believe had some germ of truth to it, but it didn't hold up.

However, I may get suckered into his next book, if only to see if I can see the flaws: Robert Putnam's latest study claims that racial and cultural diversity hurts civic life:

But a massive new study, based on detailed interviews of nearly 30,000 people across America, has concluded just the opposite. Harvard political scientist Robert Putnam -- famous for "Bowling Alone," his 2000 book on declining civic engagement -- has found that the greater the diversity in a community, the fewer people vote and the less they volunteer, the less they give to charity and work on community projects. In the most diverse communities, neighbors trust one another about half as much as they do in the most homogenous settings. The study, the largest ever on civic engagement in America, found that virtually all measures of civic health are lower in more diverse settings.

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#Comment Re: made: 2007-08-07 15:17:27.843949+00 by: Dan Lyke

The MetaFilter thread on this has some interesting comments.