Does neighborhood ethnic diversity affect collective efficacy among residents? A case study for selected neighborhoods in Phoenix, Arizona

Publication: ThesisMaster's thesis


The aim of this thesis is to investigate how social capital, in the form of collective efficacy, is formed and which effects the ethnic diversity of a neighborhood has on its formation. The literature suggests that ethnic diversity has a rather negative effect, except when the neighborhood is affluent and nested, as well as many long-term neighbors are present.
Still, there is a gap in the literature about the wider region of Phoenix, which is signified by urban sprawl and high population churn. This project tries to fill this gap by providing new insights about the Maricopa region by conducting a literature review in the first section and then using sequential mixed methods. In the quantitative part, the Phoenix Area Social Survey, as well as the census data are merged to test the hypothesis that diversity leads to less collective efficacy if certain conditions are satisfied. As a sequential approach is used, afterwards expert interviews should clarify the results.
Preliminary findings suggest that poorer neighborhoods with low residential stability exhibit lower social capital, while it is higher in areas with residential stability. However, in the case of Phoenix many other structural factors play into the level of social capital in a neighborhood like institutional racism, lack of investment and the engagement of individuals and NGOs. The results advance the
task of clarifying and measuring social capital and provide valuable insights about the greater Phoenix Metropolitan area.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • WU Vienna
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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