Ethnic diversity and social cohesion

Translation Article Alternative Hypothesis.


Research shows that people like their kind.

In addition, often inherited traits play a big role for friends and spouses, thanks to which people like a company of genetically close people. This can explain why people marry, are friends and live with members of their own race and why this can not be called an accident.

Moreover, an extensive list of the literature of correlation, long-term and experimental studies shows that people get along better with members of their race and that multiculturalism harms social cohesion.

People love their kind

If you went to classes in social psychology, then one of the first things you learned is that people love their kind. Similar people get on better, get on better and get along better in marriage. This view is supported by two kinds of evidence: correlative and experimental.

Correlation proof consists of repeated conclusions that friends and spouses differ in that they are more similar to each other in all possible parameters (Brune, 1971; Myers, 2008 page 399). Moreover, the more similar the spouses, the more they are satisfied with marriage and are less likely to divorce (Lo and Clonen, 2005; Brunet 1971; Caspi and Gerberner, 1990).

Experimental evidence is quite simple: research measures the different characteristics of individuals before they meet, and then predict who will like who. The findings, obtained in dozens of studies, confirm that similar people like each other more (Brune, 1971; Newcomb, 1961; Li, 1996; Myers, 2008 page 400).

These results disprove the idea that opposites attract, although this could be understood and intuitive. If someone does not like the same activity as you do, do not have the same sense of humor, why should he like you?

People love genetically like themselves

Perhaps the role of genetics in this is less obvious than the fact that similarity generates attractiveness. In particular, friends and spouses differ in that they are genetically closer to each other (Christakis and Fowler, 2013; Dominge and others, 2014; Rushton 1989).

You might think that this was to be expected, after all, friends and spouses, usually, are similar in their phenotype, and phenotypes, in turn, are partially inherited, but that's not all: as a rule, the trait is more often inherited, especially Similar to friends and spouses (Rushton 1989).

In addition, the similarity in the more often inherited traits makes it possible to better predict the success of marriage than the similarity in less frequently inherited traits (Russell and Wells 1991).

In addition, if you ask someone to imagine a person who is somehow similar to him, the more hereditary traits will coincide, the stronger this someone will be sure that the person presented will like him (Abraham 1993).

People of the same race are alike

So, people get along not only with their own kind, but above all they get along better with people who are genetically related to them. Now let's link it to the race: people of one race, on average, are genetically more similar than people of different races (Witherspoon et al., 2007). In fact, if you compare a fairly large proportion of the genome, the likelihood that a pair of people from the same race will be more genetically similar than a pair from different races is almost one hundred percent. As already mentioned on the site The Alternative Hypothesis, races differ in demographic and psychological indicators, as well as in political beliefs. On average, with this in mind, from members of the same race one can expect that they will be more similar to each other than to members of another race in almost everything.

In view of the foregoing, we can expect that people will seek to marry and be friends with members of their race and we will be right: most of the marriages and friendly bonds bind members of the same race. Ingram (2014) writes about a study conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute, which reports the following:

The percentage of friends of different races among whites and blacks

Also, according to the report Pew:

Among adults who do not have distinct races of their own, 81% white said that all or most of their friends belong to the same race as them. Among the blacks, this said 70%, and among the Asians 54%.

In the same report, based on the population census, it is said that about 88% of new marriages in America are between people of the same race.

Racial preferences of people do not stop at close ones. Studies also show significant racial segregation in relation to neighbors and visiting churches (Pew, 2014; Lime, 2014). In addition, preference for members of their own race begins to arise in infancy (Kelly et al., 2005; Vogel et al., 2012).

Multiculturalism kills social unity

So, people tend to strive to get along with those who look like them. For example, with members of their ethnic community. People, as a rule, are friends and marry the people of their nation, live next to the people of their ethnic group and go to church with them. And these ethnic preferences begin to form in the first months of life. In other words, independent people mostly interact with members of their own race. With this in mind, it should not come as a surprise to anyone that a lot of evidence in the social sciences shows that multiculturalism harms people to get along.

The most famous study in this field belongs to Putnamu (2007). A scientist-political scientist from Harvard analyzed over forty regions in the US and examined how multiculturalism is linked to various indicators of social capital. He created a regression model showing regional differences in age, poverty, crime and other unchanged indicators and found that the more ethnically diverse the region, the less he has the level of social capital.

In particular, Putnam found that the more diverse the population, the more residents do not trust neighbors, the local administration and the media, have fewer friends, go to elections less often, sacrifice less for charity, and fewer volunteers for public works. Perhaps more importantly, people in multiethnic communities are more unhappy and less satisfied with their lives.

Lawrence and Bentley (2015) reproduced the findings of Putnam in England and, using data for eighteen years, found that the more diverse the neighbors become, the less people like them and the less interaction between them.

Similarly, Lance and Dronkers (2008) examined social capital and ethnic diversity in the Netherlands. They used data from the Danish survey, which asked how much people trust their neighbors. After taking into account differences in gender, level of education, marital status and income, the study found that the more ethnically diverse the region of residence, the less it is trusted by its neighbors.

For the sake of justice, not all studies confirm this. Mer and Tolsma (2014) conducted a meta-analysis of 90 previous reports and found that 50% of studies conducted in the US reproduced the results of Putnam, while 20% could not. The remaining 30% were classified as having ambiguous data. On the other hand, only 26% of studies in Europe reproduced the results of Putnam, while 15% could not and the remaining 59% offered ambiguous data.


Reproducibility is not very good, but it is easy to explain. First, many of these studies measure ethnic diversity in such a way that the half-white, the half-black region and the half-Anglo-American, the half-German-American are equally diverse.

More specifically, ethnic diversity is often defined as the possibility that two random people from the same region will belong to different ethnic groups. The fact that the list of possible ethnic groups includes not only three to six races but more than a hundred ethnic groups allows us to say that many of these studies are studying ethnic rather than racial diversity. This poses a problem, because ethnic groups are much closer in phenotypes and genetics than races.

The second problem with this meta-analysis is that many of the studies mentioned take into account the reasons for the mechanisms by which ethnic diversity can harm social cohesion. For example, many studies take into account income inequality and crime. Their results will be misleading, because ethnic diversity can be the cause of rising levels of crime and income inequality, which in turn reduces social demand. So, many of the studies on this topic take into account the consequences of diversity, but conclude that it itself has no effect. [note. In fact, they conclude that criminality and inequality itself cause a decline in cohesion, keeping silent the cause of such levels of crime and inequality.]

But the worst of these studies are those that actually took into account racial diversity, for example Aizlwood and Pendakur (2005) And Andersen and Milligan (2011), found that the number of non-white neighbors negatively correlated with the level of social cohesion, but argued that ethnic diversity either did not have an impact on social cohesion, or that it was positive. And this is after taking into account the effects of a different proportion of non-white population! Many of these studies were counted by Mer and Tolsma as those that could not reproduce the results.

Given that everything was initially opposed to successful reproductions, the fact that just less than a quarter of the studies could not reproduce the results of Putnam is truly impressive.

The negative relationship between ethnic diversity and social cohesion is noted in different contexts. For example, Martinez and Daugherty (2013) were examined by seventy-five thousand people from four hundred religious denominations and found that those belonging to the dominant racial group in the congregation experience a stronger sense of belonging to the church, have more friends in the church, and more often participate in church activities. Also Montoya and Briggs (2013) have established that it is more convenient for people to work if the client belongs to the same race as them. Finally, Dineses and Södersky (2015) found that ethnic diversity within a radius of eighty meters from the individual's home adversely affects his social trust.

Together with correlation and long-term studies, the inverse relationship between prosocial behavior and ethnic diversity has been proved experimentally. For example, Glaser et al. (2000) invited subjects to participate in the economic "game", where one participant sent another the amount of money at his discretion. Then the money was doubled, the recipient could keep the whole amount or give back the original amount. These are the very foundations of altruism, honesty and conscientiousness. The researchers found that the recipients send back much less money when they are playing with someone from a different race. More than 90% of cases when money was not returned, had to fall into pairs from different races.

Research on the benefits of diversity in the work environment also shows that because of heterogeneity, people are less likely to trust each other. This conclusion was made Levin and Stark (2015)who stated that the reason why people in multiethnic groups come up with better solutions for hypothetical problems is that they trust less each other and are less prone to group thinking and conformance.

Although this can be viewed as a benefit to solve problems, it is also certainly not favorable for society.


Summarizing, all the evidence provided clearly shows that ethnic diversity prevents people from finding a common language, undermining trust and diminishing satisfaction with life. These conclusions should be taken into account when considering any form of multiculturalism.


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