March 18 2011
An article in the most recent edition of social science magazine Mens & Maatschappij (Man and Society) claims that the greater the ethnic diversity in Amsterdam neighborhoods, the lower the sense of well being of its residents. The article claims that “a higher number of non-Western immigrants leads to a reduced sense of security and well-being among residents. A larger number of Western immigrants leads to an increased trust in the quality of life and future of the neighborhood”. The article is written by three researchers basing their conclusions on existing data bases.

The provided summary of the abstract reads, “This research investigates whether Robert Putnam’s (2007) well-known findings on the negative influence of ethnic diversity on social cohesion hold in Amsterdam. In the present study neighbourhood trust is the measure of social cohesion. Using data from the ‘Living in Amsterdam’ monitor ( Wonen in Amsterdam, 2007 ), multilevel analysis shows that neighbourhood trust is lower in ethnically diverse neighbourhoods. Furthermore, the percentage of first generation non-Western immigrants and second generation non-Western immigrants is also negatively related to neighbourhood trust. The percentage of second generation non-Western immigrants affects neighbourhood trust more strongly than the presence of first generation non-Western immigrants. In addition, the effect on neighbourhood trust differs for various non-Western ethnic groups. Neighbourhood trust is higher in neighbourhoods with a large percentage of immigrants from the Dutch Antilles and trust is lower in neighbourhoods with a higher presence of Moroccans.”

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