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  • Periodic Reporting for period 1 - INTERACT (INTerEthnic Relationships in contemporAry CommuniTies: How does ethnoracial diversity affect in- and out-group trust, solidarity, and cooperation)
ERC

INTERACT Report Summary

Project ID: 639284
Funded under: H2020-EU.1.1.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - INTERACT (INTerEthnic Relationships in contemporAry CommuniTies: How does ethnoracial diversity affect in- and out-group trust, solidarity, and cooperation)

Reporting period: 2015-07-01 to 2016-12-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

The increasingly multiethnic nature of modern societies has spurred academic interest in the consequences of diversity. Recent scholarship has linked ethnoracial diversity to undesirable collective outcomes, e.g., low levels of trust, civic engagement, and social capital. These findings have important policy implications, in part because they resonate with public anxieties about immigration, residential integration, and the role of the welfare state. The INTERACT project investigates the micro-mechanisms through which contact promotes or impedes solidarity and cooperation in diverse communities. More generally, this research moves beyond communitarian conceptions of social capital to understand the building blocks of solidarity in contemporary, diverse societies.

We ask three main questions. First of all, since ethnically diverse communities are often also poor communities, we ask whether cooperation in diverse communities undermined by ethnic diversity or by diffused poverty. Second, we investigate how does ‘first’, sustained contact with out-group members affect levels of solidarity and cooperation, and to what extent does it modify pre-existing beliefs about the out-group. Third, we focus on specific micro-level mechanisms. How do individuals transcend group boundaries, and develop trust toward a ‘generalized other’? Does in-group trust extent to the out-group, or does in-group cohesion go hand in hand with out-group exclusion? What makes cooperation in heterogeneous communities difficult? Absence of solidarity, or difficulty in communication and sanctioning?

To investigate the micro-level dynamics that link intergroup contact to solidarity and cooperation, this project takes an innovative field-experimental approach, which moves beyond observational data. In particular, the project uses lab-in-the-field experimental games to assess the dispositional mechanisms – such as generalized altruism, group solidarity, reciprocity, and sanctioning – that bring about solidarity and cooperation in various group settings.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

[No published papers yet. See ""Overview of the action"" for a detailed account of each project.]

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

Ethnic Diversity, Poverty and Social Trust in Germany. Evidence from a Behavioral Measure of Trust, paper presented at ECSR (European Consortium for Sociological Research) 1st Thematic Workshop on Demography and Inequality – December 8‐9, 2016, Wissenschaftsforum Berlin, Germany.


We have organized a workshop on the topic of the conference which will be held on June 1, 2017.
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