Sources of personal neighbor networks: Social integration, need, or time?

Karen E. Campbell, Barrett A. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

260 Scopus citations


In response to Wirth's (1938) image of city dwellers as isolated individuals lacking strong ties to others, urban sociologists and network analysts have closely examined personal networks. Because neighbors are vital components of such networks, we examine three theoretical perspectives offered to explain the links between statuses and neighbor networks: social integration, need, and available time. Survey evidence from 690 adults in 81 Nashville, Tennessee neighborhoods best supports a social integration interpretation - those in statuses well integrated into society in general (female, middle-aged, married, and high-SES respondents) have larger networks within their neighborhoods. Need may be the inverse of integration, for low-SES persons, though maintaining smaller networks, have more frequent and intense contact with their neighbors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1077-1100
Number of pages24
JournalSocial Forces
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 1992

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • History
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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