Trust, Diversity and Segregation

UTS Cosmopolitan Civil Societies Research Centre
Publication Type:
Recording, Oral
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Professor Ric Uslaner, Professor of Government and Politics at the University of Maryland is the 2010 Fulbright ANU Distinguished Chair. Professor Uslaner is spending four months at ANU from September 2010. Ric will be researching issues of trust and ethnicity in populations. Professor Uslaner is visiting The Cosmopolitan Civil Societies Research Centre, UTS on 17 November to present a lecture on Trust, Diversity and Segregation in the United States and United Kingdom as part of the 2010 CCS Seminar Series. Generalized trust is a value that leads to many positive outcomes for a society—greater tolerance of minorities, greater levels of volunteering and giving to charity, better functioning government, less corruption, more open markets, and greater economic growth.” Some political leaders and academics have argued that trust is lower in a diverse society—and there are also fewer acts of altruism that benefit people who are different from yourself. People feel uncomfortable in trusting people who are different from themselves. However, this argument confuses diversity with residential segregation. When people live apart from those of other backgrounds, they won't develop the sorts of close ties that can lead to greater trust in people who are different from themselves. Even if they live in integrated communities, they must have frequent and close interactions with people of different backgrounds for trust to flourish. Violet Roumeliotis will be addressing the topic of Trust, Diversity and Segregation from a local perspective, informed by her work in a highly diverse region of Sydney as Manager of the Canterbury Bankstown Migrant Resource Centre. Violet is a member of the CCS Advisory Board.
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