This study examines the effects of neighbourhood ethnic diversity on the experiences of social cohesion for the different ethnic groups living in Rotterdam. While previous literature has demonstrated that higher levels of ethnic diversity generally lead to lower levels of social cohesion, this relationship had rarely been studied across different ethnic groups. This theoretical caveat was studied by applying linear regression analyses to the Neighbourhood Profile survey data (N=11739). It was found that native Rotterdam citizens and ethnic groups who arrived in the city relatively recently experienced equally strong, negative effects of ethnic diversity on their perceived levels of social cohesion. In contrast, traditional ethnic groups were generally found to only experience small negative effects, with certain ethnicities even seeing positive effects of ethnic diversity on their experience of social cohesion. This thesis thus demonstrates that while ethnic diversity often leads to more negative experiences of social cohesion, this is not a given. Future research should explore the ways in which ethnic diversity may positively contribute to inter-group interactions within neighbourhoods and cities.

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Gijs Custers, Thomas Swerts
Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Duuren, B. van. (2022, June 20). Ethnic Diversity and Social Cohesion across Ethnic Groups in Rotterdam. Sociology. Retrieved from