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Revista INVI

On-line version ISSN 0718-8358

Abstract

WORMALD, Guillermo et al. Cohesive culture and integration in Chilean Cities. Revista INVI [online]. 2012, vol.27, n.76, pp.117-145. ISSN 0718-8358.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0718-83582012000300004.

This research posits that the degree of spatial proximity and social contact among people sharing diverse socioeconomic levels defines social cohesion, that is to say, the norms and values that generate attitudes and behaviors conducive to the survival and development of a society. The main question of this article lies in the possibilities for the strengthening of social cohesion offered by a) current ways of integration and coexistence in different public and institutional spaces within the urban context; b) willingness to have a greater level of social contact; and c) the value given to the existing opportunities for contact. The hypothesis is that a society offering higher and valued contact opportunities among different groups would show a tendency to be more cohesive in a less conflictive context, so long as people take such opportunities. An exploratory qualitative approximation to families from different social backgrounds belonging to the Metropolitan Region of Santiago suggests a limited awareness of the experiences of those of different socio-economic backgrounds. Such heterogeneity occurs mostly in regulated public spaces, where contact may be expected to be uncomfortable and conflictive. This is why indifference appears as a predominant element. In this case, heterogeneity is the consequence of other decisions.

Keywords : SOCIAL COHESION; SOCIAL INTEGRATION; CONTACT.

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