22. December 2016
How strong is social cohesion in Bremen? This question was investigated by Jacobs University researchers Regina Arant and Mandi Larsen in a recently published study. For the study, a representative sample of 2605 residents of 78 urban districts had been surveyed via telephone interviews. “Bremen has a large number of intact social units.” This is how principal investigator Klaus Boehnke, Professor of Social Science Methodology, summarized the results. “Social cohesion in Bremen is in good shape.”
Cohesiveness in particularly well developed in urban districts of great cultural diversity, whereas in districts with high levels of residential fluctuation, where it is difficult to get to know your neighbor and build up trust cohesiveness is lower. The researchers measured the extent of trust in other people, for instance, by asking whether a lost wallet would be returned in the neighborhood. Three-fourths of all those surveyed are certain that it would.
High cohesion neighborhoods are considered more attractive; people prefer to live in districts that stick together. The study clearly showed that economically better-off districts are not necessarily more cohesive, and: High social cohesion goes hand in hand with a greater readiness to help refugees and also to consent to their being housed in one’s own neighborhood.
Studies on social cohesion have already been conducted on the international and the German federal level, but never in a local context. “Social cooperation is experienced and lived above all at the local level: in the cities and communities, the neighborhoods and quarters,” says Kai Unzicker of the Bertelsmann Stiftung, which commissioned the study with support by the Bremen Housing Industry Association “agWohnen”.
Thomas Joppig | Brand Management, Marketing & Communications
t.joppig [at] jacobs-university.de | Tel.: +49 421 200-4504