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The Downside of Diversity - Essay Example

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This is mainly derived from the negative past experiences with racial segregation, so it is naturally assumed that we now must promote multiculturalism in our communities. In “The downside of diversity,”…
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The Downside of Diversity
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The Downside of Diversity

Diversity produces lower civic health, which is a detriment to society. Robert Putnam, a Harvard political scientist, conducted in-depth interviews with 30,000 people across the United States (Jonas, 2007). What Putnam found was that neighbors in diverse communities trust each other roughly half as much as they do in communities that are made up of one predominant culture. This is due to the cultural differences that exist between members of diverse communities. Further research found that diversity makes us feel uncomfortable in social settings; however, diversity can thrive in the work environment. This is because a wider range of thoughts can strengthen a plan or objective because all the weaknesses are covered. Putnam’s research also supports that of some of his contemporaries, who argue that people in diverse communities do not contribute to common needs and goals of the community.
Diversity results in a decline in social capital, a term first coined by Putnam himself in some of his previous studies. Social capital refers to friendships, religious institutions, and community associations, which are more likely to suffer when diversity is present in the community (Jonas, 2007). This is because people feel disenfranchised from the very societal groups that are set up to help them. Putnam claims that high social capital makes a community a better place to live, neighborhoods are safer, people are healthier, and more citizens vote (Jonas, 2007). Putnam’s survey, which was conducted in a number of diverse communities across the United States, questioned many ethic groups (black, white, Hispanic, and Asian) about how they felt about their neighbors, community, and local government. Putnam’s results showed that most people did not engage politically or socially with members of other cultures (Jonas, 2007).
Finally, living in diverse communities brings out the turtle in all of us. What ... Read More
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