Lack of social trust and fear of immigration

A New Republic magazine poll: Improving border security and restricting illegal immigration will “strengthen democracy” Dems 61% Reps 93% will “weaken democracy” Dem 39% Reps 7%

“The possibility of political violence” Dems 81% Reps 61%

“Looking forward to the next 10 or 20 years, do you feel more confident or more worried about the future of democracy in America?” More worried Dems 64% Reps 75%.

The decline of social capital and anti-immigration sentiment:

2020 study: A review of 87 research articles found a statistically significant negative relationship between ethnic diversity, for example due to immigration, and social trust including social trust within groups.

Robert Putnam: One of America’s most respected social scientists, Robert Putnam, studied the social impact of ethnic diversity. The results shocked him so much that he withheld reporting them for years. Fighting his personal pro-immigrant leanings, he concluded, “immigration and ethnic diversity challenge social solidarity and inhibit social capital.” He describes social capital as a collective capacity to spark civic participation and trust, keys to building democracy. In his 2006 lecture, “E Pluribus Unum,” Putnam warned, “The more ethnically diverse a residential context is, the less we trust …” He said the more racially diverse a community, the less trust exists among neighbors. Even trust within groups is lower in more diverse settings.

See my postings here and here.

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