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Segregation and mistrust: Diversity, isolation and social cohesion

TitleSegregation and mistrust: Diversity, isolation and social cohesion
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsUslaner, E. M.
Number of Pages284
PublisherCambridge University Press
CityCambridge, UK
Keywordsdiversity, residential segregation, trust

Generalized trust - faith in people you don't know who are likely to be different from you - is a value that leads to many positive outcomes for a society. Yet some scholars now argue that trust is lower when we are surrounded by people who are different from us. Eric M. Uslaner challenges this view and argues that residential segregation, rather than diversity, leads to lower levels of trust. Integrated and diverse neighborhoods will lead to higher levels of trust, but only if people also have diverse social networks. Professor Uslaner examines the theoretical and measurement differences between segregation and diversity and summarizes results on how integrated neighborhoods with diverse social networks increase trust in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Sweden, and Australia and how they increase altruism toward people of different backgrounds in the United States and the United Kingdom. He also shows how different immigration and integration policies toward minorities shape both social ties and trust.

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