POLS Seminar Series: Eric Uslaner (University of Maryland)
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Political Science Seminar Series
Prof. Eric Uslaner
University of Maryland
“Diversity, Segregation and Trust”
Wednesday, January 4, 2012
Abstract: Generalized trust is a value that leads to many positive outcomes for a society. Many analysts argue that trust is lower when we are surrounded by people who are different from ourselves. Residential segregation, not diversity is the culprit in lower levels of trust. Segregation is one of the key reasons why contact with people who are different from ourselves does not lead to greater trust. Diversity is a proxy for the minority share in a community and that: (1) segregation, especially in diverse communities, drives down trust more than diversity does; but (2) close personal ties in integrated diverse communities builds trust, but more so in the United States than in the United Kingdom, and more for majority white com- munities than for minorities.