Seminars & Events

5 June 2023
15:15 - 16:45
Online - see link below

Seminar: Kasimir Dederichs- Pulling Together? Ethnic Segregation Across and Within Civic Organizations

Title: Pulling Together? Ethnic Segregation Across and Within Civic Organizations

Abstract: Civic organizations are often depicted as vehicles for social integration: Since they gather people around common interests and have relatively low entry barriers, they may facilitate interactions that bridge social divides prevailing in other domains. However, this hopeful portrayal rests on several critical yet largely untested assumptions. This study, therefore, systematically investigates the bridging potential of civic organizations, focusing on ethnicity as a key social boundary. Using unique Dutch survey data, we show that: (i) There is strong ethnic segregation across organizations, which persists after accounting for socioeconomic differences between individuals and organizations; (ii) There is ethnic segregation within organizations, in terms of participants’ contacts with different co-members; (iii) Social integration within organizations declines with the share of ethnic outgroup members; (iv) Civic participants are more likely to leave organizations with more ethnic outgroup members—partly driven by their weaker social integration—thereby reinforcing ethnic segregation across organizations. Hence, our results suggest that homophilous sorting dynamics limit the capacity of civic organizations to bridge ethnic boundaries. Additional efforts are thus needed for civic organizations to fully live up to their bridging potential.

Bio: Kasimir Dederichs is a third-year PhD Student at Nuffield College, University of Oxford. He studies the potential of civic organizations like sports clubs, cultural associations, and community groups to contribute to social cohesion by facilitating connections that cross ethnic, socioeconomic, and gendered fault lines.



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