Mansouri, F., Vergani, M., & Weng, E. (2024). Parallel lives or active citizens? Examining the interplay between multicultural service provision and civic engagement in Australia. Journal of Sociology, 0(0). https://doi.org/10.1177/14407833231219033
Over recent decades, there have been increased public debates about rising level of ethnic and religious diversity and their implications for social cohesion and intercultural relations. These contestations are often situated within a diversity governance continuum with two opposing and often extreme poles both in the policy arena as well as the academic literature. The first pole sees diversity as potentially contributing to social fissures and intercultural discord. The second pole highlights the benefits of an acceptance of diversity for cross-cultural awareness and social peace. Using empirical evidence from a multi-year project, this article assesses the key assumptions underlying these oppositional approaches through a study of the provision of social services to multicultural communities and its association with civic engagement and national belonging. Study findings show that access to multicultural services is significantly associated with higher levels of civic engagement among migrants, rather than social exclusion and urban segregation.