Friend Culture: Does Diversity Lead to Diverse Friendships? Predictors of Ethnically and Racially Diverse Friendships

Annette Jacoby, Graduate Center, City University of New York (CUNY)
Jeremy Porter, City University of New York (CUNY)

Increasing diversity could positively affect attitudes of people and result in openness and tolerance among the different ethnicities. However, research has shown that growing diversity has actually lead to decreasing trust and friendship levels. In this paper we want to analyze what determines how much people are engaged in cross-racial friendships, and what role independent variables like ethnicity and living situation have. Furthermore, we analyze in what ways the racial and ethnic composition of the CBSA might influence these friendship decisions. Based on a multilevel analysis of survey data from the Social Capital Community Benchmark Survey in 2006 we hypothesize that the diversity of friendship networks will be determined by both individual choices and characteristics and the constraints imposed by one’s interaction context. The results are interpreted in the context of American demographic and social change, focusing on the dynamic processes of population and social change rather than simply geography.

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Presented in Session 152: Social and Educational Effects of Migration on Host Societies