Neighbor networks of black and white Americans

Barrett A. Lee, Karen E. Campbell

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

46 Citations (SciVal)


Do African-Americans neighbor differently than white Americans? In posing this research question, we address two issues of importance to social scientists. The first concerns the accuracy of a thesis popularized by Fischer (1982; Fischer et al. 1977) and Wellman (1979; Wellman and Leighton 1979), that urbanites’ networks of supportive relationships fall largely outside the boundaries of their immediate neighborhoods (see also Webber 1963). According to Fischer and Wellman, advances in transportation and communications have '‘liberated community,'’ making spatial proximity less relevant than in the past. We contend, however, that most people still establish and maintain ties with their neighbors and that such ties form significant parts of their total personal networks. The '‘folks next door’’ not only provide routine assistance but, as informal agents of control, are often influential in socializing children, promoting local safety, and stimulating home improvement activity (Galster and Hesser 1982; Sampson and Groves 1989; Taub, Taylor, and Dunham 1984). In short, there is good reason to believe that proximity continues to shape the social networks of urban residents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationNetworks in the Global Village
Subtitle of host publicationLife in Contemporary Communities
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages28
ISBN (Electronic)9780429967269
ISBN (Print)9780813368214
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences(all)


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