Skip to comments.Diversity's Dark Side
Posted on 09/11/2007 7:51:48 AM PDT by ZGuy
For at least the last twenty years the cultural and political elites of the United States have championed the cause of multiculturalism by claiming that diversity was something that made all of us better. Little effort was ever made to define precisely just what was meant by diversity, difference or most crucially "better." Nor was there any significant research that provided empirical support for the claim that multiculturalism and diversity translated into better people, better communities, better organizations and businesses or a better country.
But now a considerable amount of solid evidence about multiculturalism is in, and it suggests that far from something positive, it is a corroding and corrupting influence on just about everything that it comes in contact with, from social capital, trust, and community spirit to altruism, volunteering, friendship and even happiness.
That's the startling conclusion from Harvard's Robert Putnam best known as the author of Bowling Alone. According to Putnam a variety of research from the United States, Canada, Australia and Europe shows that ethnic diversity is associated with lower social trust, lower "investment in public goods," less reciprocity, and less willingness to contribute to the community. In workplace situations diversity is associated with "lower group cohesion, lower satisfaction and higher turnover."
Putnam's own research in the United States, confirms this international picture. In the Social Capital Community Benchmark Survey carried out in 41 US communities ranging from Bismarck, North Dakota to Boston and involving 30,000 individuals, Putnam found that the "more ethnically diverse the people we live around, the less we trust them." This translates into nine particularly troubling behaviours, including reduced confidence in government and in one's ability to influence politics, reduced voter registration and interest in social change, lowered expectations about the willingness of others to work together cooperatively, less charitable giving and volunteering, fewer close friends, a reduced quality of life and more time spent watching television. Indeed, one could hardly come up with a list of behaviours more likely to undermine democratic society.
But the consequences of the multicultural diversity extend beyond its effect on social and community engagement. For instance, criminologists have found that effective community policing is much more difficult in areas with increased ethnic diversity.
[Of course it is open to defenders of multiculturalism to argue that Putnam's findings are skewed by the fact that poverty, crime and diversity are themselves interconnected, making causal conclusions difficult. But Putnam's research show that even in comparing equally poor and equally crime-infested neighbourhoods the outcome is the same "greater ethnic diversity is associated with less trust in neighbours."]
Putnam's findings should not come as a surprise. For instance, studies from business, which has been one of diversity's greatest champions, have shown that diversity produced few if any positive effects on business performance. One major study even concluded that industry should move beyond trying to build a business case for the benefits of diversity and multiculturalism, since there was no empirical evidence to support such a case.
In part this is due to the fact that homogeneous teams tend to outperform diverse groups because diverse groups often suffer from communication and process problems. As psychologists Katherine Williams and Charles O'Reilly have noted "The preponderance of empirical evidence suggests that diversity is most likely to impede group functioning."
As a champion of multicultural diversity, Putnam finds his results disturbing and he has been reluctant to publish them. The only place to find them is in a speech reprinted in the academic journal Scandinavian Political Studies. And even there the data is not provided, only summarized. Putnam told the Financial Times that he "had delayed publishing his results until he could develop proposals to compensate for the negative effects of diversity."
One driving idea was that prejudice impeded merit, keeping the deserving down for no reason. Then it was felt that diversity would eliminate prejudice, and therefore have merit. Unfortunately, forced diversity initiatives increase prejudice and impede the meritocratic ideas I grew up with in the 50’s and 60’s by generating favored quotas in housing, education, jobs,... you name it. Unintended consequences.
“As a champion of multicultural diversity, Putnam finds his results disturbing and he has been reluctant to publish them. The only place to find them is in a speech reprinted in the academic journal Scandinavian Political Studies. And even there the data is not provided, only summarized. Putnam told the Financial Times that he “had delayed publishing his results until he could develop proposals to compensate for the negative effects of diversity.”
Absolutely. I heard him on some leftie show like “Fresh Air” doing the “humina humina” about how his findings should not be used to trash multiculturalism and all that stuff and mewling about taking heat from his beloved fellow lefties.
Yeah. Multiculturalism has been a suspicious crock since its very inception.....now there is data to prove it.
And the honest lefties [very few of those!] don’t like it.
I went to a largely white Catholic high school (we had alot of South Americans, but they were as white as I am), and we STILL had segregation by cliques/interests/social class (ie the scholarship kids).
Diversity: Divided We Stand
Its never been about multiculturalism or diversity.
Its always and only been about bashing whitey.
We just couldn’t say it that way.
“Unfortunately, forced diversity initiatives increase prejudice and impede the meritocratic ideas I grew up with in the 50s and 60s by generating favored quotas in housing, education, jobs,...”
Forced diversity has done tremendous damage to race relations in this country.
It has created contempt and animosity in places where none existed.
Even more importantly, diversity is a self defeating concept.
The truth is, the more you smash different cultures together, the more they borrow from each other, until you have a single, homogeneous mish-mash of cultures instead of interesting individual cultures. For example, look at the Americanization of Japan after WWII.
It’s only a matter of time in the internet age before we start to look like the “culture” in the movie “Blade Runner.”
Diversity - defeating itself since the liberals made it an issue!
“Its always and only been about bashing whitey.”
I’ve never heard a group say, “We need to be more diverse, we don’t have any white guys in this project.”
Certainly, groups that prize “diversity” are not prone to bringing in diverse thought. For instance, a “diverse” group of Big 10 college professors won’t bring in a Massai tribesman, or a Bedouin shepherd, or even a conservative Republican. Rather, they tend to think that a group of middle-class people who all work in the same university, who all have Ph.D’s from an American university, are somehow “diverse”.
If you want to see the libs idea of true “diversity”, just take a look at a Prince or Madonna concert, with gender-indeterminate folks in leotards and Elizabethan clothes dancing with one another, dwarves on trapezes, and children on unicycles weaving in and out of the proceedings, liberally sprinkled with glitter and massage oil.
In other words, anything goes.
The academics for whom this process was familiar from their own identification of it with social progress have never, in fact, succeeded in building anything but police states. If the modern campus, with its speech codes and its relentless suppression of conservatism in general, tends to resemble a police state, that's why.
It was the same way in my all white California suburban high school.There was more hate and cruelty among white people than I ever saw in integrated schools BETWEEN different races.
Same in ghetto schools I have taught in.Black folks can be VERY cruel,hateful and unforgiving toward EACH OTHER.
Compare the English Civil War with the Mau Mau uprising in Kenya. The stated purpose of the Mau Mau was to "slaughter all whites until they leave." In reality, more white folks died in car accidents in one year in Nairobi then were ever killed by the Mau Mau, as said group killed more people within the composite ethnic groups (and were rather incompetant and fearful of the British army besides).
That's why I don't get all worked up over the whole "Clash of Civilizations" thesis. It may have some implications for international power politics, but the bloodiest wars will remain within cultures and religions rather than between cultures and religions for some time.
Putnam wrote that in many large evangelical congregations . . . the participants constituted the largest thoroughly integrated gatherings we have ever witnessed. Putnam observed that for part of the week, there is some identity that is more important to them than their ethnic identity . . . In these churches, people are not hunkered down but are quite comfortable around each other.
Of course, thats because underlying all the racial and ethnic diversity is their essential unity in Christ. This is why Christians can acknowledge and even celebrate the diversity within their churches without fear of hunkering downthe person sitting next to you may be different from you in many ways, but he is the same where it counts.
Our politically correct postmodern notions of diversity cant offer that assurance, since they deny things like universal truth. So when your neighbors are concerned about a problem like this, tell them where they can come to find the right balance: Join you in church.
Great insight on the inversion aspect of this picked up by the Marxists and liberal academics.
Sometimes Whitey CAN benefit from affirmative action and diverity.I got my first teaching job in 1972 because the New Orleans schools were under court order to desegregate school faculties.They needed more white teachers at black schools.I fit the bill.
Ten years ago my Filipino supervisor at the Post Office asked me if I wanted to go into management.I declined but inquired why he asked only me out of all the people in my unit.He sheepishly answered,”The word is out that white males are underrepesented in this region and the racial balance needs to even out”
Silly any way you look at it.
“That’s why I don’t get all worked up over the whole “Clash of Civilizations” thesis. It may have some implications for international power politics, but the bloodiest wars will remain within cultures and religions rather than between cultures and religions for some time.”
I’m not sure that could be proven. The thing about clashes of civilizations throughout history is that one side of the clash often was annihilated, or absorbed into the winning participant. What we call England is made up of the winners, of invading forces from Germany and Scandinavia that almost wiped out the native Britons after the departure of the Romans. 75 millions Indians were slaughtered over a couple of centuries of Muslim invasion. Remnants of tribes survive in North America after deaths from European diseases and battles with European settlers. The Huns and Mongols brought havoc to many civilizations and wiped entire cities and their inhabitants off the map. There are many other examples.
I think it’d be very difficult to prove your contention with history being so littered with civilizations that were practically destroyed by other civilizations. Clashes of civilizations have been going on throughout recorded history and before, and many losers were seldom heard from again.
True,your example of Kenya and the Mau Mau rebellion.Even in Zimbabwe,for all of Mugabe’s hatred toward whites,its his BLACK opposition that has caught the bulk of his tyranny and brutality.