The Conditional Effect of Network Diversity and Values on Tolerance
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While recent literature reports that network diversity generates tolerance, empirical data suggest that in Israel, a highly diverse country, tolerance has been in scarce supply. The well-documented importance of personal value preferences (specifically, openness to change vs. conservation and self-transcendence vs. self-enhancement) in producing tolerant views leads us to hypothesize that values function as boundary conditions mitigating the impact of network diversity upon both political and social tolerance. Building on a representative survey conducted in Israel in 2011, we show that diversity contributes to tolerance more when people are open-minded; when conservatives encounter dissimilar attitudes, they are either less affected or respond with increased intolerance. Secondly, those who highly regard the opinions of others and express an individual predisposition for self-transcendence at the expense of self-enhancement are affected by network diversity to a greater extent. Further, the effect of diversity on tolerance is mediated by the perceived threat from the relevant group.
KeywordsTolerance Values Network diversity Contact Heterogeneity Israel
For invaluable advice, support and inspiration at different stages of the project we are indebted to Michal Shamir. We are also grateful to Michal Shamir for the use of data from the 2011 tolerance survey. We greatly benefited from comments from the journal’s editors and reviewers. Finally, part of the project was written when the first author was a Fellow in the Department of Political Science at Tel Aviv University, and she deeply appreciates their hospitality and the generous financial support of VATAT. All remaining errors are our own.
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