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Ethnic diversity and social capital in the Russian context (on the example of 25 regions)

On October 23 Tatarko A. N. (Doctor of Psychology, Professor, Chief Researcher, International Laboratory for Socio-Cultural Research, HSE) took part in the "Culture matters" research seminar at the site of the International Workshop "From values to behavior: interdisciplinary studies of regional differences in Russia", conducted by the International Laboratory for Experimental and Behavioral Economics HSE, with the report "Ethnic diversity and social capital in the Russian context (on the example of 25 regions)".

The authors of the study examined the link between ethnic diversity and social capital to test Putnam’s hypothesis on the negative impact of ethnic diversity on social capital. Data came from a representative survey in two multicultural regions of Russia (N = 2061). To assess the level of ethnic diversity, an Ethnic Diversity Index was calculated using data from the latest National Population Census in Russia. Data were analyzed using two-level structural equation modelling. The results did not confirm Putnam’s hypothesis and showed that ethnic diversity, as assessed in the latest National Population Census in Russia, was not negatively related to social capital in Russia. The authors of the study argued that the long-standing ethnic diversity in Russia is positively related to informal sociability, and does not affect generalized trust and community organizational life. It is concluded that Putnam’s hypothesis does not have universal validity, presumably because the link between diversity and social capital is moderated by various regional and national characteristics.