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People, place and change. A longitudinal study of individual, cohort and contextual effects on levels of belonging to neighbourhoods and interaction with neighbours, England 1998-2008 -PhD thesis-


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In recent decades there has been a rekindling of academic interest in place, and with
the way in which processes associated with modernity, globalisation and individualisation
may have diminished place based communities, and weakened the attachment between individuals
and the neighbourhoods in which they live. There are also debates about the importance
of neighbourhood context, particularly whether neighbourhood level material deprivation
and increased ethnic diversity act to reduce individual belonging to neighbourhoods
and interactions between neighbours.This thesis aims to contribute towards an understanding
of the ways in which individual belonging to neighbourhoods, and interaction with
neighbours, may have changed over time, in relation to individual and neighbourhood
context. Data from the British Household Panel Survey, for England, for the period
1998 to 2008, measuring the outcomes of individual level belonging to neighbourhoods
and the likelihood of talking to neighbours, are combined with neighbourhood level
Census data. Longitudinal models are used to test for age and cohort effects, and
then extended to consider neighbourhood level context. Specific attention is given
to the relationship between the outcomes under study and neighbourhood material deprivation,
neighbourhood ethnic diversity, household income and individual mobility between neighbourhoods.Some
evidence was found for cohort effects, with younger cohorts, particularly those in
higher income households, being less likely to talk to neighbours. There were no apparent
cohort effects for the outcome of belonging to the neighbourhood, which is found to
be associated with age (generally increasing as individuals get older), and neighbourhood
context. In materially deprived neighbourhoods levels of belonging are lower, but
only for individuals in households with low incomes. Similarly any effect of individual
mobility was found to be conditional on household income and neighbourhood level material
deprivation. In general, high or increasing neighbourhood level ethnic diversity was
not associated with reduced individual belonging to neighbourhoods or likelihood of
talking to neighbours once other contextual variables were considered. Also, increased
ethnic diversity had a small positive effect on the outcomes under study for individuals
living in neighbourhoods with high levels of material deprivation.


Area Effects, Social Networks, and Social Capital



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