Declining Cohesion Or Segregated Worlds?
Since sociology exists, – and maybe even longer – there is the concern that we loose our social bonds, that social relationships become superficial and more and more dispersed in space. In particular, since new technologies, such as the internet or social media, were used on a large scale, the implications for relationships became an issue. However, much research, next to my own research, shows that we actually do not loose high quality relationships; at least not to an extent that justifies the idea the social cohesion is rapidly declining. This does not take away that ongoing changes affect our social worlds: we use the internet for meeting others, we keep our friends up-to-date via facebook and whatsapp – and many of us in a ‘bubble’ in which we meet mostly people who are very similar to us. I am currently working on questions around these ‘bubbles’ and related new and older social cleavages.