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London voices, London livesTales from a working capital$
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Peter Hall

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9781861349842

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781861349842.001.0001

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Friends and Neighbours

Friends and Neighbours

(p.349) Chapter Twelve Friends and Neighbours
London voices, London lives

Peter Hall

Policy Press

This chapter looks at some of the most basic social relationships; the ways in which people relate to other people within their local area. This proves difficult to generalise, because of the great variation that exists in social relationships. Some neighbourhood residents spoke of knowing many dozens of people while others claimed to barely know of anyone beyond their front door. Many factors influence this range of social experience. Among them include rate of turnover, level of cultural homogeneity, layout and design. Yet on the whole, in most neighbourhoods, there is a general and widespread system of reciprocity wherein people watch each other's houses and perform small errands in specific circumstances. Discussions include: the sense of uncertainty for the new arrivals; difficult neighbours and incompatible neighbourhoods; importance of geography and layout; social networks and social capital; and a sense of neighbourhood.

Keywords:   social relationships, social experience, rate of turnover, cultural homogeneity, layout, design, system of reciprocity, difficult neighbours, social networks

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