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Article

Ethnic Diversity and Social Capital in the Russian Context

Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology. 2017. Vol. 48. No. 4. P. 542-559.
Tatarko A., Mironova A. A., van de Vijver F.

We examined the link between ethnic diversity and social capital to test Putnam’s hypothesis  on the negative impact of ethnic diversity on social capital. Data came from a representative  survey in two multicultural regions of Russia (N= 2,061). To assess the level of ethnic diversity,  an ethnic diversity index was calculated using data from the latest National Population Census  in Russia. Data were analyzed using two-level structural equation modeling. The results did not  confirm Putnam’s hypothesis and showed that ethnic diversity, as assessed in the latest National  Population Census in Russia, was not negatively related to social capital in Russia. We argue that  the long-standing ethnic diversity in Russia is positively related to informal sociability, and does  not affect generalized trust and community organizational life. It is concluded that Putnam’s  hypothesis does not have universal validity, presumably because the link between diversity and  social capital is moderated by various regional and national characteristics.