Robert Putnam, of Bowling Alone fame, has done new research showing that “that the more diverse a community is, the less likely its inhabitants are to trust anyone – from their next-door neighbour to the mayor.” [HatTip to Steve Sailer]
The core message of the research was that, “in the presence of diversity, we hunker down”, he said. “We act like turtles. The effect of diversity is worse than had been imagined. And it’s not just that we don’t trust people who are not like us. In diverse communities, we don’t trust people who do look like us.”
Prof Putnam found trust was lowest in Los Angeles, “the most diverse human habitation in human history”, but his findings also held for rural South Dakota, where “diversity means inviting Swedes to a Norwegians’ picnic”.
Of course these findings are not really new; they fill the literature of organizational management, as in this, for example, from 1998:
don’t know that conflict as a general phenomenon is on the increase. There has always been conflict over scarce resources, for example. However, I do know that the workplace is becoming increasingly diverse, and diverse people by their very nature have more differences than a homogeneous group. This certainly creates more opportunity for conflict.
These findings, or observations, comport well with what many people regard as an irony: the elite campuses that demonstrate the most abject devotion to “diversity” are often the campuses with the most racial conflict and contention. Here, I suspect, however, that it is not so much the fact of diversity that causes the conflict as that making a fetish of it tends to make all those groups brought in to provide the “diversity” acutely aware that are regarded not only as “different” but as victims. It magnifies chips on shoulders into veritable log-sized planks in various platforms of discontent.