Political Behavior

, Volume 26, Issue 2, pp 125-153

First online:

Race and the City: Neighborhood Context and the Development of Generalized Trust

  • Melissa J. MarschallAffiliated withDept of Political Science-MS 24, Rice University
  • , Dietlind StolleAffiliated withDept of Political Science, McGill University

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Previous research has indicated that socio-economic and racial characteristics of an individual's environment influence not only group consciousness and solidarity, but also affect his or her views toward minority or majority groups. Missing from this research is a consideration of how context, social interaction, and interracial experiences combine to shape more general psychological orientations such as generalized trust. In this study we address this gap in the literature by conducting a neighborhood-level analysis that examines how race, racial attitudes, social interactions, and residential patterns affect generalized trust. Our findings suggest not only that the neighborhood context plays an important role in shaping civic orientations, but that the diversity of interaction settings is a key condition for the development of generalized trust.

civic attitudes racial attitudes context social capital