Do people trust each other more – or less – in diverse communities?

E Pluribus Unum: Diversity and Community in the Twenty-first Century, The 2006 Johan Skytte Prize Lecture, was authored by Robert Putnam, Harvard University professor and author of Bowling Alone (plus six other books).  The paper is very lengthy, but a summary and link to the article appears below.  For those who work in community development it is must reading.

The more diverse the community, he finds, the less its members trust each other or the government, and the less they participate in collective life or believe in their own power to change their communities and politics. He notes that there are exceptions, but ultimately, more diverse communities are less trusting, less cohesive and less participatory places to live as people tend to “hunker down” and withdraw.  More…

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