Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Putnam: Diversity is weakness   posted by dobeln @ 10/10/2006 01:36:00 AM

It appears that Robert "Bowler" Putnam is ready to publish his book on the effects of diversity:

From the Financial Times:

A bleak picture of the corrosive effects of ethnic diversity has been revealed in research by Harvard University's Robert Putnam, one of the world's most influential political scientists.

His research shows that the more diverse a community is, the less likely its inhabitants are to trust anyone - from their next-door neighbour to the mayor.

The core message of the research was that, "in the presence of diversity, we hunker down", he said. "We act like turtles. The effect of diversity is worse than had been imagined. And it's not just that we don't trust people who are not like us. In diverse communities, we don't trust people who do look like us."

Needless to say, Putnam serves up this rather hard-to-digest message with a large helping of "the usual":

Prof Putnam stressed, however, that immigration materially benefited both the "importing" and "exporting" societies, and that trends "have been socially constructed, and can be socially reconstructed".

In an oblique criticism of Jack Straw, leader of the House of Commons, who revealed last week he prefers Muslim women not to wear a full veil, Prof Putnam said: "What we shouldn't do is to say that they [immigrants] should be more like us. We should construct a new us."

A bit uninspired. Will it be enough to save his spot on the circuit? Time will tell.