cross-cutting tiesthe conflicting, or potentially conflicting allegiances of individuals, e.g. conflict between ethnicity and class, or religion and class. It has been argued that the web of relationships associated with such cross-cutting ties is conducive to social stability because it inhibits or moderates conflict between groups. Individuals subject to cross-cutting ties tend to be pulled two-ways, and so are likely to act to prevent or to limit conflict, e.g. presenting both sides of the case. The existence of cross-cutting ties has sometimes been suggested as important in preserving STABLE DEMOCRACY, e.g. in counteracting extremes of class consciousness. See also COGNITIVE DISSONANCE.
Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000