Social science has long been interested in the effects and predictors of community participation, especially regarding voluntary membership or civic participation. Likewise, the role of social institutions has been given much attention in understanding their possible effect as an outlet for both individual desires to become civically engaged as well the institution’s ability to shelter an individual and surround them with others like themselves. We use data from the 2000 Social Capital Benchmark Survey to examine the effect of group membership on the overall diversity of friendships. The diversity of friendships gives us a good proxy to the degree of the closure created by existing in-group dynamics. Furthermore, the effect of membership is comparatively examined between religious group membership and the degree of nonreligious group membership. Our findings indicate differing effects based on the type of membership on the diversity of friendships at the individual level.

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