Friendly Interaction Between People from Different Ethnic Groups

Social cohesiveness can be increased if there is friendly interaction between people from different ethnic groups showing mutual tolerance. 

Leicester is an example of an ethnically diverse city which has “elaborate networks for consultation, co-operation and simply having fun”, as described by The Economist under the heading Holding it together.  It was observed that this can help to “keep Christians, Muslims and other faith groups on cordial terms”.

Friendly interaction between people from different ethnic groups requires effort on everyone’s part:

●  People’s sense of belonging to a society increases as they experience friendliness, solicitude and helpfulness from other people – in addition to the minimum politeness required for socially acceptable behaviour that were described earlier (4.4.2).

●  Invitations to join in social activities need to be both extended and accepted. The stronger people’s positive feelings about the society as a whole, beyond their ethnic group, the less likely it is that conflict will emerge.

●  Mixed-faith schools can play a very important role in providing a natural foundation for increased interaction, between children from different ethnic groups and between their parents.

People’s practice of socially acceptable behaviour in friendly interactions reinforces it as a social norm, and people can discourage non-conforming behaviour by their peers – as described below (



This page is intended to form part of Edition 4 of the Patterns of Power series of books.  An archived copy of it is held at https://www.patternsofpower.org/edition04/4472.htm.