NYU Urban Seminar: Cara Wong on Pseudo-environments, Ethnic Diversity, and Social Capital

News & Events | November 3rd 2015

On November 3rd the NYU Urban Seminar Series, co-hosted by the NYU Furman Center and Marron Institute, welcomed Cara Wong, an associate professor in the department of political science at the University of Illinois. She presented her paper, titled, "Do You See What I See?: Pseudo-environments, Ethnic Diversity, and Social Capital." 

Wong discussed her research on pseudo-environments and how perceived ethnic diversity determines subjective levels of social capital. Her research uses data from a specialized survey given to Canadians that allowed them to self-draw their communities and make subjective determinations about the racial/ethnic composition of the area and express their perceived level of social capital, community efficacy, safety, living conditions, and trust in neighbors. Wong's analysis finds that greater perceived diversity in one's community correlates to lower levels of the aforementioned factors in the individual, and finds that people tend to overestimate the amount of diversity within their communites. Wong urged that addressing the rift between the objective and subjective environment could possibly help reduce levels of prejudice in general, particularly when it takes the form of urban segregation.

The NYU Urban Seminar series is co-hosted by the NYU Furman Center and the Marron Institute. The speaker series is focused on research with implications for urban policy, and features a variety of researchers from across the U.S. discussing their work. View the full list of fall 2015 speakers. The NYU Urban Seminar is open to the public; registration is required.

« Previous | The Stoop | Next »