Hanna de Jong-Markus

General Introduction 13 1 1.2 Increased Diversity and Social Cohesion In recent decades there has been a recurring focus in the Netherlands and other Western countries on the increased diversity in society (cf. An, 2014; CBS, 2015, 2020; Dobbernack et al., 2013; Estellés & Fischman, 2020; Verkuyten & Yogeeswaran, 2020; Yemini et al., 2019). While the value of diversity is emphasised—it is important for diversity to be openly manifested as this would promote the well-being of individuals and of society (cf. An, 2014; Boli & Elliott, 2008; Hamer, 2018)—concerns are raised about the increased diversity and lack of social cohesion in society (cf. An, 2014; Boli & Elliott, 2008; Veerman, 2020). Globalisation and individualisation The increased diversity in the Netherlands can be related to globalisation and individualisation (Beck & Beck-Gernsheim, 2002; De Hart, 2021). Globalisation is about the global flows of goods, ideas and individuals, which became possible since the late 20th century through the development of ubiquitous communication and transportation technologies (Hassi & Sorti, 2012). For example, the number of residents with a migrant background grew from 9.2% in 1972 to 22.1% in 2016. Today migrants come from many more different countries than some fifty years ago (Jennissen et al., 2018). According to predictions of the Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI) and Statistics Netherlands (CBS) these developments will continue, with 31% to 40% of the Dutch population expected to have a migration background by 2050 (NIDI/CBS, 2020, 2021). Globalisation can lead to more homogeneity and integration between cultures thanks to the exchanges, yet also creates more diverse practices because cultures that were previously distant and unknown come closer (Hassi & Sorti, 2012). This means, among other things, that “… adolescents and emerging adults seldom grow up knowing of only one culture in a globalizing world. Rather, they increasingly have interactions with people from diverse cultures, either first-hand or indirectly through various media.” (Jensen et al., 2011, p. 286). In connection with globalisation, individualisation can also contribute to increased diversity (Beck & Beck-Gernsheim, 2002). Whereas traditions and institutions used to have authority and determined a person’s path in life, personal freedom of choice increasingly becomes the norm (Beck & Beck-Gernsheim, 2002; De Hart, 2021; Schnabel, 2004). For the individual, this means that reflexivity has become more important. Instead of following