Sunday, July 01, 2007

Robert Putnam

I blogged last year about Robert 'Bowling Alone' Putnam's research which suggested that the level of trust in a community is inversely related to the level of ethnic diversity.

He presented a paper with some of the data here.

(Professor Putnam is still optimistic though. As far as I can see the reasoning goes - America is a successful society. America has had lots of immigration. Therefore lots of immigration is the recipe for a successful society. It's not recorded if the Native Americans were asked for input.)


(name corrected - thanks)

15 comments:

Peter said...

It's ROBERT Putnam

David is some film producer chappie

Observer said...

USA

In Samuel P. Huntington's book "Who Are We? The Challenges to America's National Identity," he asks: "Would America be the America it is today if in the 17th and 18th centuries it had been settled not by British Protestants but by French, Spanish or Portuguese Catholics? The answer is no. It would not be America; it would be Quebec, Mexico or Brazil."


In 2005, according to the Department of Homeland Security, the overwhelming majority of immigrants came from only 10 countries, none of which had sent a lot of immigrants to America for the country's first 200 years: Mexico (161,445), India (84,681), China (69,967), the Philippines (60,748), Cuba (36,261), Vietnam (32,784), the Dominican Republic (27,504), Korea (26,562), Colombia (25,571) and Ukraine (22,761).

TDK said...

It's an interesting idea: why is that America, which is so diverse, has been a great success, whilst other multi-cultural entities have been conspicuous failures?

I would suggest that the reason lies in the prior mono-culturalism. People were invited to become "Americans" and despite the difficulties of certain groups, in general, most did succeed in joining the mainstream culture.

The same thing seems to have happened in the UK. Prior to the 1970s, immigrant groups became indistinguishable from the host nation, even though it may have taken several generations to achieve and even though people still retained certain vestiges of their original culture.

Anonymous said...

Don't see an awful lot of integration going on in the US. In fact one of the reasons New Orleans received scant interest after Katrina hit was because it was perceived to be a black city with a black mayor. It was therefore perceived to be a black problem.

Most American cities are split along ethnic lines. Austin Texas has blacks living in the centre and whites living far outside. Orlando has whites living on the West side of the railway line and Blacks living on the East side. LA has Hispanics on the south side and white on the north side. Blacks only get to mix with whites if they prove they are "white on the inside" - Colin Powell and Condaleeza Rice being obvious examples. Moving to integrate with whites so completely leaves them isolated from the black community.

America is successful despite immigration, rather than because of it. Previous success (imported from Europe) breeds more success.

TDK said...

Anon.

I acknowledge that blacks have been the exception with my phrase despite the difficulties of certain groups. Do you say that their experience is typical?

Certainly, now that America is endorsing multi-culturalism, it is failing to integrate Hispanics as well. However, the US has historically integrated many other groups that fall outside the WASP norm including Italians, Poles, Irish, Vietnamese, Indians (S Asia), Koreans. Even the well publicised cases of alleged maltreatment such as Japanese internment mask the reality that in general, such people have integrated well given time.

You might ask why integration of the black community has been such a comparative failure.

Anonymous said...

@tdk

I think you will find that none of these immigrants integrate fully into American culture. They are very much on the periphery of money and power in the US. They continue to live in ghettoes. Only those that go to the US in very small numbers are forced to integrate into mainstream American culture.

Incidentally, the reason why this issue has become such a hot topic in the US is exactly because of the likely future ascendency of Hispanics in the US outnumbering those of European descent.

Koreans, Chinese, Cubans - all live in their own communities.

TDK said...

Are British Jews integrated? Do they live in separate communities?

The All-Seeing Eye said...

You might ask why integration of the black community has been such a comparative failure.

11:48 AM


Numbers....sheer numbers....14.5% or 42 million are Hispanics with 63% Mexican; and the largest ethnic minority bloc is Black at 12.12% or 37 million.

If you have large concentrations of alien groups with different cultural systems and a high birth rate you cannot integrate them at all let alone acculturate.

Every group in Britain with the exception of high-birth rate Muslim populations integrates and invests in education and training because children are fewer.

The Jews have low birth rates because they invest heavily in education and are well-assimilated in Britain just as they were in Germany....in Poland they were not at all integrated and few spoke Polish or dressed as Poles.

The problem is simply that when one population group has a birth rate so vastly in excess of the population at large it becomes impossible to integrate and resembles colonisation.

Rwanda was a charnel house because of differential birth rates and competition for limited land resources 84& Hutu and 15% Tutsi - and the battle between collectivisation of agriculture and subsistence.

When resources become scarce relative to population the outcomes will be barbaric....but so far Western society has lubricated itself with easy credit and heavy taxation of the middle class to buy off the lower income groups

The poor ghettoes of Glasgow and Liverpool and Yorkshire cities were boom towns from textiles at the time the Irish escaped their potato famine to Britain - had the British economy not grown substantially it would have been in a Malthusian Trap.

Currently public spending is lubricating the system but how long can the taxes of a middle class salaryman support the large family of a Bangladeshi who may in fact be costing £15.000 pa in tax credits and housing subsidies....?

It is impossible to integrate any majority into a minority - and in some areas the majority population nationally is a minority

Anonymous said...

"one of the reasons New Orleans received scant interest after Katrina"

Really, thats not how I remember it. Oh yes, thats right I was on a different planet at the time. Or were you?

The problem for the MSM was how to cover events without showing blacks as raping, murdering, looting ingrates compared to whites on average.

Furthermore what about Biloxi MS? Hit as bad as NO but rarely mentioned by the MSM. Now why would that be? Most people affected were white. They didnt get around the whole looting, raping and killing thing for some reason and started clearing up the mess. So nothing to see there.

Laban said...

tdk - black people from the Caribbean seem to be integrating pretty well in the US- vide Colin Powell.

Pretty much the opposite of the UK experience (with notable exceptions of course)

Anonymous said...

"The problem for the MSM was how to cover events without showing blacks as raping, murdering, looting ingrates compared to whites on average."

Most of those stories were made up....by the mainstream media.

There never was a rape in the superdome.

No-one actually shot at a rescue helicopter.

Scenes of looting were actually scenes of people being allowed to take food from supermarkets whilst the police ensured that no-one tried to hike a TV.

New Orleans is a nasty city with serious crime problems related to its black population, but at the same time the European MSM were only too happy to report New Orleans as an example of American culture at its most venal.

Foxy Brown said...

Laban,

I've a theory as to why Caribbeans do well in the US and are generally high achievers - there's a skeleton welfare service. Migrants have to work and are not permitted to sponge off the state. Individuals are forced to rely on their own resources and to be independent. It's a completely different story in welfare-rich Canada, where Jamaicans in particular are over-represented in crime and top the single mothers/feckless fathers league tables.

The welfare state is the source of many a social evil

Laban said...

That's interesting, Foxy. Didn't know about Canada.

Just goes to show how important the surrounding structures are. I'm big on culture but it's obviously not everything.

The Chinese were a poor peasant economy for 40 years after WW2, then the structures changed and those same people created an industrial and technical powerhouse.

Observer said...

The Chinese were a poor peasant economy for 40 years after WW2, then the structures changed and those same people created an industrial and technical powerhouse.

Koreans maybe, Taiwanese maybe...but not the Chinese. The bulk of China's population is still peasant and dirt poor....a very tiny elite is doing very well ou of Industrial Feudalism but it is not a technological powerhouse nor an industrial giant - stop listening to media hype and fund managers.......it is simply an extension of Hong Kong....it is not Japan nor is it Korea.

Observer said...

tdk - black people from the Caribbean seem to be integrating pretty well in the US- vide Colin Powell.

Oh I don't know - the Guyanese do okay in Britain - Trevor Phillips, Baroness Amos, Lord Ali, Air Commodore David Case, Lord Ousley,


Baroness Scotland from Dominica,

Diane Abbott of Jamaican parentage, Bill Morris, David Lammy, Lenny Henry,

Trevor MacDonald from Trinidad


What point do you want to prove ?