Scholarship claims that diversity undermines trust and cooperation. Critiques focus on studies’ inability to discern diversity’s causal effects. In fact, most studies are unable to distinguish diversity (i.e., mixture) and marginalized group share (e.g., percentage Black). The authors argue for preserving this distinction and identify obstacles to doing so. First, homogeneously disadvantaged communities are acutely underrepresented in North America and Europe, the settings of most diversity research. The second issue, a case of the ecological fallacy, concerns our inability to infer associations between individual outcomes and diversity from associations between macro-level outcomes and diversity. Much diversity research would be better served by using group share measures that align with the in-group/out-group theories they draw on to motivate research and explain findings. The authors clarify the data and analytic requirements for research that seeks to draw conclusions about diversity per se. Practically, the distinction between diversity and marginalized group share is also relevant for policy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Sciences(all)