Joran Laméris will defend her PhD thesis on Friday, January 19th 2018. The defense will take place at Radboud University, Aula (Comeniuslaan 4), 16:30h.
Against the background of a heated political debate about the possible threats of ethnic diversity for the well-being of society, this thesis improves the understanding of whether, why and where ethnic diversity erodes social cohesion. The findings indicate that steady increases in diversity do not challenge cohesion, whereas abrupt increases in diversity do – in any case temporarily – inhibit cohesion. Even though the negative diversity-cohesion relationship is hardly explained by ethnic threat and anomie, the results show that threat and anomie are important inhibitors for cohesion. As individuals’ perceptions of neighbourhood diversity and safety do explain the diversity-cohesion relationship, this study suggests that it especially matters what ethnic diversity represents in a given residential environment. Furthermore, the findings of this study reveal that the negative relationship between diversity and cohesion is strongest within small-scale residential environments. As people identify more strongly with the small-scale residential context, they are more affected by its ethnic composition.