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‘All in it Together’? Social Cohesion in a Divided Society: Attitudes to Income Inequality and Redistribution in a Residential Context

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  29 April 2014

Urban Studies, School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Glasgow, UK email:
Urban Studies, School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Glasgow, UK email:
Urban Studies, School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Glasgow, UK email:
Urban Studies, School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Glasgow, UK email:
MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, Glasgow email:


This paper asks whether where someone lives bears any association with their attitudes to inequality and income redistribution, focusing on the relative contribution of neighbourhood income, density and ethnic composition. People on higher incomes showed higher support for redistribution when living in more deprived neighbourhoods. People with lower levels of altruism had higher levels of support for redistribution in neighbourhoods of higher density. People living in more ethnically mixed neighbourhoods had higher levels of support for redistribution on average, but this support declined for Whites with low levels of altruism as the deprivation of the neighbourhood increased. Current trends which sustain or extend income and wealth inequalities, reflected in patterns of residence, may undermine social cohesion in the medium- to long-term. This may be offset to some extent by trends of rising residential ethnic diversity.

Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2014 

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