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Ethnic Diversity Corrosive?

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  • Ethnic Diversity Corrosive?

    Interestng story in several ways:

    Could the conclusion of the study be true? And, if so, what are the implications? Also, people can think these thoughts--they have been thinking them--but they feel restricted from voicing them publicly. Indeed, in publishing, education, healthcare, law enforcement, and so on, voicing such ideas can lead to disciplinary action, sensitivity training, can even destroy careers....



    Harvard study paints bleak picture of ethnic diversity



    A bleak picture of the corrosive effects of ethnic diversity has been revealed in research by Harvard University's Robert Putnam, one of the world's most influential political scientists.

    His research shows that the more diverse a community is, the less likely its inhabitants are to trust anyone – from their next-door neighbour to the mayor.

    This is a contentious finding in the current climate of concern about the benefits of immigration. Professor Putnam told the Financial Times he had delayed publishing his research until he could develop proposals to compensate for the negative effects of diversity, saying it "would have been irresponsible to publish without that".

    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".

    When the data were adjusted for class, income and other factors, they showed that the more people of different races lived in the same community, the greater the loss of trust. "They don't trust the local mayor, they don't trust the local paper, they don't trust other people and they don't trust institutions," said Prof Putnam. "The only thing there's more of is protest marches and TV watching."

    British Home Office research has pointed in the same direction and Prof Putnam, now working with social scientists at Manchester University, said other European countries would be likely to have similar trends.

    His 2000 book, Bowling Alone, on the increasing atomisation of contemporary society, made him an academic celebrity. Though some scholars questioned how well its findings applied outside the US, policymakers were impressed and he was invited to speak at Camp David, Downing Street and Buckingham Palace.

    Prof Putnam stressed, however, that immigration materially benefited both the "importing" and "exporting" societies, and that trends "have been socially constructed, and can be socially reconstructed".

    In an oblique criticism of Jack Straw, leader of the House of Commons, who revealed last week he prefers Muslim women not to wear a full veil, Prof Putnam said: "What we shouldn't do is to say that they [immigrants] should be more like us. We should construct a new us."

    Copyright 2006 Financial Times

    http://news.moneycentral.msn.com/provider/providerarticle.asp?feed=FT&Date=20061008&ID=60854 19
    "Jerry Cornelius was based, for instance, on a young man I used to see around Notting Hill where there was also a greengrocer called Cornelius of London."

    --Michael Moorcock

  • #2
    Originally posted by Jerry Cornelius
    Interestng story ...

    "What we shouldn't do is to say that they [immigrants] should be more like us. We should construct a new us." according to Putnam.


    A "new us"? A new us? And just who is going to do the "constructing" anyway?


    ...similar to Professor Robert Putnam’s recommendations here:

    http://www.multiverse.org/fora/showthread.php?t=4305

    Now, just who is to appoint the overseers of this so-called new cultural construction? Self–promoting “social scientists” picked out by transnational corporations? Here comes global socialism, folks . . . hello mind control, hello slavery, hello euthanasia….
    Last edited by Jerry Cornelius; 10-09-2006, 01:57 PM.
    "Jerry Cornelius was based, for instance, on a young man I used to see around Notting Hill where there was also a greengrocer called Cornelius of London."

    --Michael Moorcock

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Jerry Cornelius
      A "new us"? A new us?
      I'll choose "Brand X" thank you very much....
      "Jerry Cornelius was based, for instance, on a young man I used to see around Notting Hill where there was also a greengrocer called Cornelius of London."

      --Michael Moorcock

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Jerry Cornelius
        Here comes global socialism, folks


        This ain't socialism, though - it's "communitarianism" as promoted by Tony Blair and Bill Clinton. Rights balanced by responsibilities with, as us cynical folks would say, more emphasis on the latter.

        To be fair, Putnam's "we" is an inclusive "we" - i.e. meaning all of us. I think he's got a point. Exclusive ethnic ghettoes don't work, neither will enforced conformity to "British" (or "American") norms. A bit of give and take doesn't really sound like such a sinister idea, does it?
        \"...an ape reft of his tail, and grown rusty at climbing, who yet feels himself to be a symbol and the frail representative of Omnipotence in a place that is not home.\" James Branch Cabell

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Mikey_C


          A bit of give and take doesn't really sound like such a sinister idea, does it?
          Brand X.
          "Jerry Cornelius was based, for instance, on a young man I used to see around Notting Hill where there was also a greengrocer called Cornelius of London."

          --Michael Moorcock

          Comment


          • #6
            There is a true problme but let us make no mistake.

            The problem does not come from the actual presence of strangers. In fact, there is more racism and vote for ultra right in some little town without immigrants than in some truly multicultural places.

            The problem is not a race or religious problem.

            In France, after the blood bath of WWI immigrants came .. Italians in south and Poles in North. The reaction was the same as to day .. they are not as us they steal our work, they cannot integrate .....

            In the sixties in some cities of miners, there were still two groups of young : the " french " and the " poles ".

            And to day, some of these poles are ultra right, claiming their hate for strangers.

            The problem is in part social ..... In some districts, unemployement is more than 33 %, some young never having seen people of their families rising up to go to work .....

            The problem is in part fear ......

            And the problme is also from a minority who does not wants to integrate, to accept values of secularism and freedom......

            But, last, it also comes from many autochtons who do not want to integrate them, to give them the same rights they possess.

            Comment


            • #7
              My bullshit filters just went into overdrive. There is so much wrong here I just cannot start in on it in a short post. Instead, I'll just say that prejudices and/or racial biases as used to attain a position of moral superiority is bunk. Follow the money. That people and societies are different, each has similarities and unique aspects that can be examined only when compared to others, may well be very healthy.

              Each culture, as it develops, has strengths and weaknesses. The trick is to maintain the strengths whilst weeding out the weaknesses. I freely admit to being a social Darwinist (whilse rejecting evolution a la Darwin as a flawed theory). I believe societies can become stronger and maintain their individual beauty while eliminating (slowly, over time, so as to not stress out and shock the old folks) negative aspects.

              But this pseudointelligensia claptrap has to go. When it comes to "publish or perish", sometimes the preferred choice is the latter.

              PS - One of my favorite quotes, although paraphrased and I don't know the author, is that "Maturity is the ability to cope with ambiguity." Anyone know the origin?

              <- How I feel after reading certain articles.
              Miqque
              ... just another sailor on the seas of Fate, dogpaddling desperately ...

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