Fostering Solidarity in Times of MigrationsTHE ERC PROJECT OF DELIA BALDASSARRI INVESTIGATES THE RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN PEOPLE WITH DIFFERENT ETHNIC BACKGROUNDS IN A HETEROGENEOUS COMMUNITY
There is no shortage of literature on solidarity within ethnically homogeneous communities. Little is known however about what happens in heterogeneous communities, in spite of the fact that immigration and residential integration are highly topical issues. In INTerEthnic Relationships in contemporAry CommuniTies: How does ethnoracial diversity affect in- and out-group trust, solidarity, and cooperation (INTERACT), awarded with an ERC Starting Grant and hosted by the Dondena Centre for Research on Social Dynamics and Public Policy, Delia Baldassarri investigates, with the help of Max Schaub e Johanna Gereke, the relationship between ethnoracial diversity and its collective outcomes such as trust, solidarity, and cooperation.
The project aims to answer three questions. Does contact with ethnoracial diversity lead to higher or lower levels of solidarity within an heterogeneous community? Which factors foster cooperation in the above-mentioned communities? And finally, is the reduction in cooperation a result of ethnic diversity or poverty?
“To answer this last question, we have prepared an online behavioral game conducted with an American population”. A simulation of a financial investment was performed by pairs of participants. They were asked to decide whether to cash or invest a certain amount of money, knowing that the investment would be fruitful only if signed by both participants – a way to detect their expectations on others. “We did not detect hostility towards people of different ethnicity. The inclination to cooperate is a function of other people’s wealth: the subjects were less inclined to cooperate with a poor and only in the second place with an Afro-american business partner”.
The next step will be to use lab-in-the-field experimental games, starting from the city of Milan.
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by Claudio Todesco