Wed 3 Dec, 2008 09:46 am
Americans Claim to Like Diverse Communities but Do They Really?
by Paul Taylor and Richard Morin, Pew Research Center
December 2, 2008
About six-in-ten Americans say they like the idea of living in politically, racially, religiously or economically mixed communities, while about a quarter take the opposite view: They would rather live in communities made up mostly of people like themselves. The rest say they have no strong opinion on the issue, according to a new nationwide Pew Research Center Social & Demographic Trends survey.
Complete article and poll information:
I support wide ranging diversity as long as everyone is the same as me.
I think that people like to be surrounded by people who like many of the same things they do. Not in race or religion, but just in they way they live. If you are a lawn freak, you want to live in a community of lawn freaks so that the neighborhood looks nice, and not like a 365 day garage sale. If you enjoy dinner parties, BBQs and the like, you'd want to live in a neighborhood where others enjoy it too. I don't think it's about race so much as it is about finding people who enjoy doing the same things you do as a common ground.
Granted, some people only want to live with their race, regardless of what those people are like but I think that a lot of people just want to live somewhere that makes them comfortable and being surrounded by people who are similar to you is normal. We do it all the time with friends.
I loved living in a diverse city like Manhattan, but I admit when I had a sublet in Chinatown I felt like a stranger in a strange land. My old Jewish roots were just a few blocks away, but I always felt the outsider on Pearl St. None of my neighbors spoke english well and the cooking smells were as alien as I had ever encountered in an apartment building. I did learn who to make authentic steamed buns from Mrs. Hwang in 4B. I also don't think I would like living in rural Arkansas or Kentucky.
I like and enjoy diversity, but as others have pointed out, it helps to have a common thread of some sort with your neighbors.
To make real sense, I believe, the survey should be broken down by ages of respondents. Then it might be more telling of who is more comfortable with diversity.
What about gated communities? It is estimated that 7-8 million US households are in them. With the figure increasing as boomers retire.
Anyone can move in (I guess), but the starting price is well in excess of $120K. Kinda think that might mean some demographics may not be represented.