Handbook of Research Methods and Applications in Social Capital
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Handbook of Research Methods and Applications in Social Capital

Edited by Yaojun Li

Social capital is fundamentally concerned with resources in social relations. This Handbook brings together leading scholars from around the world to address important questions on the determinants, manifestations and consequences of social capital. Combining cutting-edge theory and appropriate data and methods, it presents a challenge to both social capital researchers interested in explaining social inequality and to policy-makers with responsibility for designing effective measures for enhancing social cohesion.
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Chapter 6: Social capital and ethnic tolerance: the opposing effects of diversity and competition

Rochelle R. Côté, Robert Andersen and Bonnie H. Erickson


The increasing multi-ethnic nature of immigration in most modern societies over the past few decades underscores the importance of studying not only the consequences of intolerance, such as labour market discrimination, but also the sources of interethnic tolerance (Wilson, 1996; Elliott and Smith, 2004; Smith and Edmonston, 1997; Putnam, 2007; Reitz, 1998; Van Tubergen et al., 2004). The present chapter explores the relationship between social capital and ethnic tolerance. By investigating the role of various types of social interaction, we shed new light on the social bases of tolerance towards immigrant and minority ethnic groups. Our research is driven by the generalized contact hypothesis, which holds that having diverse networks tends to enhance tolerance. We build on previous research by considering how diversity in a person’s wider social network – including strong ties, acquaintances and other forms of weak ties – affects tolerance. We are specifically concerned with the impact on tolerance of the size of the community in which people live, the occupational and racial diversity of social networks, and participation in various types of voluntary associations.

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