New research from Gothenburg University on solidarity in Sweden backs up evidence from previous studies that ethnic diversity is bad for social cohesion.
Surveying 9,800 randomly selected people, the university’s SOM Institute looked at the degree to which people in Sweden are able to feel a connection with people who differ from themselves.
Researchers found that, outside of their own group, respondents are most inclined to feel an affinity with people whose education vastly differs from their own.
“Most also feel a relatively large affinity with those who have very different political views, a different sexual orientation or whose financial situation differs from their own,” science and technology magazine Forskning reports.
Respondents said they feel the least affinity with people with different ethnic backgrounds, who practice a different religion, or who were brought up in other cultures.
Overall, however, researchers said the study shows that “social cohesion is strong” in Sweden, because 95 per cent of respondents said they feel like a part of society.