Diversity in Organizations, Communities, and Nations’s Updates

Hitomi Naganuma, Megumi Inoue, and Margaret Lombe – Winners of the 2017 International Award for Excellence

The Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations Research Network is pleased to announce the selection of “Bonding and Bridging Social Capital among an Ethnic Minority Group: The Case of the Japanese Community in the Greater Boston Area,” by Hitomi Naganuma, Megumi Inoue, and Margaret Lombe, as the recipient of the International Award for Excellence for Volume 16 of the Diversity in Organizations, Communities & Nations Journal Collection.

This article was selected for the award from among the highest-ranked articles emerging from the peer-review process and according to the selection criteria outlined in the peer-review guidelines.

Pictured left to right: Hitomi Naganuma, Megumi Inoue, and Margaret Lombe

In their words:

Soon after the Boston Marathon Bombing in 2013, one of our friends, who lived in the same neighborhood as the suspects, hosted a BBQ party with his neighbors. He wanted to unite and strengthen the community in the wake of the tragic event in hopes to get to know the neighbors. His action reminded us that social capital (bonding, bridging, and linking) was one of the important social resources found in the study. It is possible that people often forget or have not realized that community is an example of social resource that could lead to social capital. However, accessing social capital is often difficult for some people in ethnic minority groups because of their language and cultural barriers. This study aimed to examine if and how different types of social capital may have influenced the Japanese community in the Greater Boston area following the Boston Marathon bombing.

In this study, we found that people who were only affiliated with their own ethnic community tended to face more difficulties during this traumatic event. Furthermore, people who had lived in the United States for a short period of time, those who had low English proficiency, and those who came to the United States to study, also tended to face more problems adjusting to life after this incident. Based on these findings, we proposed community actions that will assist people who live in a different culture to build a relationship with the local community, while maintaining their ties to their own ethnic community. Examples of such actions include implementation of events for cultural exchange and creation of opportunities for volunteering.

This study has shown benefits of belonging to both the ethnic and local communities. As far as we have examined, this finding is new in the field of public health. Our research findings also created implications that have potential to develop support programs and services. Additionally, social capital, the main focus of the study, is a precious resource that already exists. People do not need an extra budget to utilize it. It is our hope that many ethnic minority people can be reached out to engage in the local community.

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