Skip to content

Journal Article

Neighbourhood social ties: how much do residential, physical and virtual mobility matter?


Publication date

Sep 2013


Following up on the prediction by classical sociological theorists that neighbours will become irrelevant as societies become more mobile, this research examines the strength of people's social ties with neighbours and the associations thereof with residential, physical and virtual mobility using longitudinal data for Germany. Unlike previous studies, the research considers the three forms of mobility simultaneously and contrasts its effects on social ties with neighbours to those with family. The results show that residential and physical mobility are negatively associated with social ties to neighbours and positively with ties to family. Virtual mobility does not weaken social ties with neighbours but ties with family. The positive association between mobility and social ties with family may not be strong enough to ascertain that people maintain as close social ties to others in the future as it does not outweigh the negative association with visiting neighbours.

Published in

British Journal of Sociology

Volume and page numbers

64 , 425 -452





Area Effects, Social Capital, and Transport



Albert Sloman Library Periodicals *restricted to Univ. Essex registered users*

Related publications

  1. The effects of mobility on neighbourhood social ties

    Gundi Knies

  2. The Effects of Mobility on Neighbourhood Social Ties

    Gundi Knies

  3. The Effects of Mobility on Neighbourhood Social Ties

    Gundi Knies

  4. The Effects of Mobility on Neighbourhood Social Ties

    Gundi Knies


Research home

Research home


Latest findings, new research

Publications search

Search all research by subject and author


Researchers discuss their findings and what they mean for society


Background and context, methods and data, aims and outputs


Conferences, seminars and workshops

Survey methodology

Specialist research, practice and study

Taking the long view

ISER's annual report


Key research themes and areas of interest