Community satisfaction demands interaction

Community satisfaction demands interaction

While most research examining the relationship between people and place has looked at individual characteristics reflecting lifecycle stages, such as marital status, size of the family and children’s ages, Gregory Sharp, an assistant professor in UB’s Department of Sociology, instead looks at the potential mechanisms that link neighborhood disadvantage with neighborly attitudes and behaviors.

Sharp says that under the right conditions, community matters in the 21st century — and it can still positively affect lives.

“We know that living in disadvantaged neighborhoods is associated with dissatisfaction, but the effect is amplified by fear, isolation and a lack of social support,” says Sharp, an expert in urban and community sociology. “Having frequent conversations with neighbors, doing favors for one another and watching each other’s home makes a difference. “This is neighboring,” says Sharp. “And it makes a difference.”
These neighborly interactions have a cumulative effect. The study’s results suggest that neighboring encourages residents to become more active in their communities, regardless of the level of disadvantage.

“Policy makers need to hear this,” says Sharp. “Neighborhoods and communities matter. They have consequences for people’s lives and their life chances – and their attitudes often determine whether they’ll be invested in the places they live.”

Source: Community satisfaction demands interaction