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Tolerance Within Community: Does Social Capital Affect Tolerance?

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Tolerance is valuable in the development of any U.S. community. Individuals of varying religious beliefs, political leanings, and sexual orientations constitute communities. These differences can create unwanted divisions within the community if tolerance is not present. Examining through the framework of social capital theory, specifically civic engagement and social embeddedness, the present study seeks to understand what impacts an individual to be more tolerant of others. In the current study, tolerance is a broad measure that combines various types of individual characteristics into one dependent variable, including tolerance levels of different races, religious beliefs, and sexual orientations. Using independent measures of social capital in the form of civic engagement and social embeddedness, the study expects those individuals who have more instances of civic engagement and social embeddedness will be more tolerant of others compared to those with no or low levels of either civic engagement or social embeddedness.

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    Two of the original categories “Less than $40,000 unspecified,” and “Over $40,000 unspecified” are included in the model and added to the modal categories that matched. “Less than 40,000 unspecified” is added to the “Less than $20,000” category, while “More than $40,000 unspecified” is added to the “Over 75,000 but less than $100,000 category”.


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Author information

Correspondence to Jasmine Wise.


Appendix 1

For further reference, Appendix 1, Table 5 shows the analysis of each independent variable inserted into the model separately. Each measure is significant and shows an increase in tolerance.

Table 5 Individual social capital measures effects on tolerance

Appendix 2

To ensure all four independent variables measure different aspects of social capital a correlation matrix as well as a factor analysis. The factor analysis yields a Cronbach alpha score of 0.54. This supports the need for each variable individually within the models. The correlation matrix shows that while each correlation is significant each is below 0.5, signifying the weakness of the correlation and further supporting the need for each variable separated (Tables 6, 7).

Table 6 Cronbach coefficient alpha of independent variables
Table 7 Correlation matrix of independent variables

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Wise, J., Driskell, R. Tolerance Within Community: Does Social Capital Affect Tolerance?. Soc Indic Res 134, 607–629 (2017).

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  • Tolerance
  • Community
  • Social capital
  • Civic engagement
  • Social embeddedness