What is the actual meaning of 'cross- cutting' differnces? I am not able to understand it. Please also make me understand the meaning of 'overlapping' differences. 

Asked by subasini.mohapatro | 10th Jul, 2015, 09:13: PM

Expert Answer:

Overcutting and overlapping of social differences is essentially a concept that has to be seen within its specific context. When social differences are overlapping, two social groups who are pitted against each other on one issue, will oppose each other on other issues as well. On the other hand, when social differences are cross-cutting each other, two social groups might be oppositional in their views on one issue, but they might share interests on another issue. According to the textbook, the Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland have overlapping social differences. That is, their social differences overlap across several issues and they are likely to be in oppositional camps regardless of the time and issue at hand. Since Catholics in Northern Ireland tend to be poor and discriminated against in general, they will be opposed to the Protestants, who are generally well to do, regardless of the matter at hand. However, in the Netherlands, Catholics and Protestants are not necessarily divided into the two groups of 'haves' and 'have nots' ('rich' and 'poor'). As a result, the economic and political interests of one Catholic might not always be in congruence with the economic and political interests of another Catholic - they might belong to different economic classes altogether unlike what is the case among the Catholics of Northern Ireland. This is precisely the difference between overlapping and crosscutting social differences.

Answered by Social Science Expert | 12th Jul, 2015, 11:12: AM

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