Nations, Cities and Organizations
Edited by Maddy Janssens, Myriam Bechtoldt, Arie de Ruijter, Dino Pinello, Giovanni Prarolo and Vanja M.K. Stenius
Chapter 7: Diversity and Tolerance: Rhetoric versus Reality
Yilmaz Esmer 7.1 INTRODUCTION Without ever minimizing the importance of laws, legal documents and regulations, the present chapter is based on the assumption that mass values and attitudes are at least equally consequential in any meaningful analysis of diversity and tolerance. Hence, this chapter aims at studying citizens’ attitudes towards diversity and the degree of tolerance (or intolerance, as the case might be) that exists for differences in European societies. Needless to say, tolerance is not a one-dimensional concept and, therefore, we first attempt to identify the major dimensions of tolerance. We then try to find the correlates of the attitudes towards diversity and tolerance. In other words, after a comparative description, we undertake to ‘explain’ these attitudes using multivariate analyses. On the other hand, as societies become more and more diverse with globalization, the relationship between diversity and sustainability has been receiving a great deal of attention. Many argue that diversity should be regarded as a precondition for sustainability. Thus the study of tolerance and diversity gains significance from this perspective as well.1 In the following pages, after a brief historical excursion on the concept of tolerance, we embark on an empirical investigation of tolerance and diversity using data from international comparative survey programmes (namely, the European/World Values Surveys and the European Social Survey) as well as data collected in Turkey with this analysis in mind. Basically, the concept of tolerance is operationalized with the widely used ‘would you like as your neighbor?’ question. Attitudes towards ethnic and...
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