Identity, Community and Segregation

32 Pages Posted: 20 Oct 2010

Date Written: September 30, 2010

Abstract

I develop a framework to explain why identity divides some communities and not others. An identity group is defined as a group of individuals with the same `culture'. A community is divided when different identities are socially segregated; a community is integrated when there is no social segregation between different identities. I find three possible outcomes for a community: assimilation, where groups socially integrate and one group conforms to the culture of another; non-assimilative integration, where groups integrate but individuals retain their own identity; and segregation, where groups socially segregate and retain their own culture. I find that certain community environments encourage segregation: (i) communities with similar sized identity groups; (ii) larger communities; (iii) communities with greater cultural distance between identities. Further, when segregation occurs, the cultural divide between the two groups can increase endogenously beyond ex-ante differences.

Suggested Citation

Reich, Bryony, Identity, Community and Segregation (September 30, 2010). NET Institute Working Paper No. 10-10, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1694386 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1694386

Bryony Reich (Contact Author)

University of Cambridge ( email )

Trinity Ln
Cambridge, CB2 1TN
United Kingdom

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