Diversity in Organizations, Communities & Nations Journal Award

The Diversity in Organizations, Communities & Nations Journal Collection offers an annual award for newly published research or thinking that has been recognized to be outstanding by members of the Diversity in Organizations, Communities & Nations Research Network.

Award Winners for Volume 16

Bonding and Bridging Social Capital among an Ethnic Minority Group: The Case of the Japanese Community in the Greater Boston Area

Ethnic minority groups continue to be the most vulnerable population in the United States. This is especially evident during traumatic events such as terrorism and natural disaster. They often report difficulties in accessing and obtaining appropriate support from formal service providers. Reasons for this vary, and may include language, cultural barriers, and mistrust. In recent years, research has attempted to understand the role of community in mitigating outcomes for minority groups. Social capital (bonding, bridging, and linking), for example, has been identified as a survival strategy for ethnic minority groups during traumatic events. Building on this body of knowledge, we investigate if and how different types of social capital had an effect on the Japanese community in the greater Boston area following the Boston Marathon bombing of 2013. Results of this study suggest that individuals who only had bonding social capital tended to face more difficulties adjusting than people who had both bonding and bridging social capital following the bombing. Further, people who were 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 reported more difficulties adjusting after the incident. To conclude, we propose strategies for community actions with potential to enhance the types of social capital available to communities. The goal is to promote and strengthen survival mechanisms.

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

Hitomi Naganuma, Megumi Inoue, and Margaret Lombe, The International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities, and Nations: Annual Review, Volume 16, Issue 4, pp.15–24


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.

—Hitomi Naganuma, Megumi Inoue, and Margaret Lombe

Past Award Winners

Volume 15

Engagement with Place: Cairo as Classroom

Fayyaz Vellani, The International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities, and Nations: Annual Review, Volume 15, pp.1–12


Volume 14

Racialized Teachers and Role-Model Hypothesis

Robin Liu Hopson, The International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities, and Nations: Annual Review, Volume 13, pp. 22–33


Volume 13

Economic Inequality and Inter-group Relations: Analyses Based on the Minorities at Risk Dataset

Agnes Katalin Koos, The International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities, and Nations: Annual Review, Volume 13, pp.1–21


Volume 12

The Emergence of Australia’s Business Migration Program and Entrepreneurial Diversity Policy

Patrick Brownlee, The International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities, and Nations: Annual Review, Volume 12, pp.15–31


Volume 11

European Disintegration: Tendencies of Renationalization within the European Union and its Impact on the Common Labor Market and EU Consumer Markets

Thomas Köllen, International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities, and Nations: Annual Review, Volume 11, Issue 5, pp.117–138


Volume 10

Measuring the Effect of Diversity Interventions at a South African Residential University

Vivian de Klerk and Sarah Radloff, International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities, and Nations: Annual Review, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp.25–46


Volume 9

Perceptions of the Impact of Positive Action in EU and non-EU Countries

Uduak Archibong, Jite Eferakorho, Aliya Darr, Andy Scally, Karl Atkin, Carol Baxter, Mark R. D. Johnson, Mark Bell, Lisa Waddington, Katrin Wladasch, Tara Bedard, Oluyinka Adejumo, Phyllis Sharps, and Pat Bradshaw, International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities, and Nations: Annual Review, Volume 9, Issue 5, pp.111–124


Volume 8

Appropriation or Approximation: The Emergence of Intermediate Horizons

De La Rosa Sybille, International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities, and Nations: Annual Review, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp.235–240