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Neither busybodies nor nobodies: managing proximity and distance in neighbourly relations

Neither busybodies nor nobodies: managing proximity and distance in neighbourly relations
Neither busybodies nor nobodies: managing proximity and distance in neighbourly relations
This article reflects on empirical findings from research into neighbour relations conducted in a small town on the south coast of England. Competing accounts exist of the changing nature of relations between neighbours, and of the sources of pressures for relations with neighbours to combine privacy and sociability. The empirical findings reported on here shed light on the reasons behind people's involvement with or detachment from neighbours, in the process revealing their conceptions of a 'good neighbour'.The article argues that it is a skilful accomplishment for neighbours to establish and maintain a workable balance between 'keeping one's distance' and 'being there when needed'. Little evidence was found of face-to-face relationships between neighbours conforming to the stereotypes of intrusive 'nosy neighbours' or people who reclusively 'keep themselves to themselves'. The article concludes that analyses of neighbouring relationships need to capture the interplay of forces which allow individuals greater freedom from community control than was found in the past but which do not herald the redundancy of neighbourhood ties implied in theories of privatization, individualization and globalization. As a result, analysis will need to go beyond the busybody/nobody dichotomy.
0038-0385
127-145
Crow, Graham
723761e4-bba1-4eba-9672-e7029f547fce
Allan, Graham
ee186139-02c2-4ec2-8fe2-ed20d484139e
Summers, Marcia
7facb7e3-6a46-4d59-b74f-47f262a34f18
Crow, Graham
723761e4-bba1-4eba-9672-e7029f547fce
Allan, Graham
ee186139-02c2-4ec2-8fe2-ed20d484139e
Summers, Marcia
7facb7e3-6a46-4d59-b74f-47f262a34f18

Crow, Graham, Allan, Graham and Summers, Marcia (2002) Neither busybodies nor nobodies: managing proximity and distance in neighbourly relations. Sociology, 36 (1), 127-145. (doi:10.1177/0038038502036001007).

Record type: Article

Abstract

This article reflects on empirical findings from research into neighbour relations conducted in a small town on the south coast of England. Competing accounts exist of the changing nature of relations between neighbours, and of the sources of pressures for relations with neighbours to combine privacy and sociability. The empirical findings reported on here shed light on the reasons behind people's involvement with or detachment from neighbours, in the process revealing their conceptions of a 'good neighbour'.The article argues that it is a skilful accomplishment for neighbours to establish and maintain a workable balance between 'keeping one's distance' and 'being there when needed'. Little evidence was found of face-to-face relationships between neighbours conforming to the stereotypes of intrusive 'nosy neighbours' or people who reclusively 'keep themselves to themselves'. The article concludes that analyses of neighbouring relationships need to capture the interplay of forces which allow individuals greater freedom from community control than was found in the past but which do not herald the redundancy of neighbourhood ties implied in theories of privatization, individualization and globalization. As a result, analysis will need to go beyond the busybody/nobody dichotomy.

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Published date: 2002

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 33829
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/33829
ISSN: 0038-0385
PURE UUID: b58d6489-6756-4597-8327-ebbbde32a8b0

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Date deposited: 15 May 2006
Last modified: 15 Jul 2019 19:06

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