Unequal Networks

Spatial Segregation, Relationships and Inequality in the City


Van Eijk, G.

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"A thorough, well-written and nuanced discussion of the different ways in which neighborhood composition influences personal networks. It is particularly valuable for the systematic and careful way in which theoretical ideas are linked to different types of empirical data."
- Fenne M. Pinkster, Journal of Housing and the Built Environment (2012) 27:409-411

Does the neighbourhood in which people live matter for the resourcefulness of their personal network and thus for their opportunities in life? Do residents of a multi-ethnic ‘problem’ area maintain fewer relationships with fellow residents compared to residents of a homogeneous problem-free neighbourhood? And do ‘diversity-seekers’ who choose to live in a mixed neighbourhood translate their liking for diversity into more mixed networks and more bridging ties? This book brings together key insights from urban studies and network studies in order to understand whether and how spatial segregation matters for personal networks and inequality. By approaching these questions through different urban sociological perspectives, the book engages with current debates on poverty concentration as well as ethnic diversity, gentrification and social capital. The study is based on detailed quantitative and qualitative data on the personal networks of people living in three differently composed neighbourhoods in Rotterdam, the second largest city in the Netherlands.

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