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

by Brian Gerard Kelly

Institution: University of Manchester
Year: 2015
Keywords: Belonging to neighbourhoods; Neighbourhood effects; Cohort change
Record ID: 1405458
Full text PDF: http://www.manchester.ac.uk/escholar/uk-ac-man-scw:261426


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.