Staffan Kumlin and Bo Rothstein, Questioning the New Liberal Dilemma: Immigrants, Social Networks, and Institutional Fairness
Many studies suggests a harsh trade off, referred to as the "the new liberal dilemma," between diversity and immigration and social capital. However, the relationship between immigrant status and trust can be better gauged by considering three interaction variables. First, informal neighbor interaction cushions the negative immigrant effect. Second, a similar role is played by fair treatment by public authorities. Third, no such cushioning interaction occurs from organizational participation. Overall, the results encourage a contingent stance about diversity and social capital. The "minority culture of mistrust" can wither away as a consequence of positive experiences of social interaction and institutional fairness. Because these have a particularly positive impact among immigrants, the trust gap between immigrants and others may, under the right circumstances, be closed at high levels of these variables.
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