Religion, Race, Conflict, and Civic Pluralism in Cincinnati: How Overlapping Bonds, Social Norms and Leadership Habits Matter

Dr Anas Malik,
Richa Kumari,
Dr. Arthur Shriberg,
James Buchanan
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Whether a community is divided into polarizing or cross-cutting cleavages helps determine conflict escalation and the strength of civic pluralism. Cross-cutting cleavages exist when there are significant overlapping groups that have memberships in different communities. Polarizing cleavages exist when groups are separate and package a variety of attributes exclusively in their members, such as race, income level and profession, and religion. Overlapping bonds and cross-cutting ties have been used to explain the greater civic pluralism in some towns in Italy, as well as explaining why some religiously diverse areas in India saw less protracted communal violence than other similarly diverse areas. By themselves, however, overlapping bonds are not sufficient explanations. Shocks and their aftermaths carry a sense of immediate urgency and provide unique insights into the mechanisms whereby overlapping bonds prevent conflict escalation and foster civic pluralism. Cincinnati, Ohio is a microcosm of global fractures of race, class, and religion. An examination of interactions, collaborations, and attitudes across 3 minority communities in Cincinnati — the Jewish, Muslim, Hindu — and two larger ones, African-Americans and German Catholics — provides insights into coexistence, competition, rivalry, dialogue, collaboration, and community development. In 2001, two shocks, one local and one global, provided the setting for inquiry into civic collaboration and development. The Cincinnati race riots and the 9-11 attacks form the backdrop for our exploration of specific mechanisms for translating overlapping bonds into community development. We are particularly interested in social and political structures, leadership habits, and norms of dialogue.

Keywords: Civic pluralism, Community development, Cincinnati, Governance, Religion, Race, Leadership, Dialogue
Stream: Race and Racism
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Religion, Race, Conflict, and Civic Pluralism in Cincinnati

Dr Anas Malik

Assistant Professor of Political Science, Dept of Political Science and Sociology, Xavier University

Richa Kumari

Xavier University

Dr. Arthur Shriberg

Xavier University

James Buchanan

Xavier University

Ref: D05P0119