UCL Institute for Global Prosperity


Super-diversity and the prosperous society

In an article for European Journal of Social Theory, Nikolay Mintchev and Henrietta Moore ask what conditions are necessary for ethnic diversity to become a foundation for a prosperous society.

1 February 2017

This article asks if and under what conditions ethnic diversity could become the foundation for a prosperous society. Recent studies on ethnic diversity and social cohesion suggest that diversity has a negative effect on social cohesion and is therefore detrimental to the social prosperity of individuals and communities.

This article argues that although such a negative correlation may apply to contexts with well-considered ethnic groups, it does not necessarily apply to 'super-diverse' places.

Drawing on ethnographic material from East London, the authors contend that, in super-diverse places, ethnic diversity could become a valuable aspect of community life, while inequalities in social, cultural and symbolic capital become central points of social antagonism to the detriment of prosperity.

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