Seminar: Un-neighbourliness – The neighbourhood context of problems and disputes between neighbours

In academic research, neighbour relationships are generally viewed as either absent – having gradually been eroded by processes of mobility and privatisation – or as positive in the way they engender greater levels of community resilience, neighbourhood attachment and reduced fear of crime. Yet, despite anecdotal accounts that the incidence of neighbour problems is increasing, less is known about the negative side of neighbouring or of the factors that contribute towards rising neighbour conflicts in urban settings. This presentation begins to fill this gap by examining the kinds of problems that residents encounter with their neighbours and the way this is influenced by neighbourhood conditions. The presentation demonstrates the significant effect of neighbourhood context through an exploration of how the dual processes of gentrification and increased residential density, or urban consolidation, create conditions for neighbour tensions to occur. Drawing on a dataset of reported complaints about neighbours to the Brisbane City Council from 2007 to 2014, the findings show that high intensity problems are associated with both processes, but that class factors of gentrification are more influential than density in accounting for neighbour tensions.

  • When: Thursday 17 May, 12-1 pm
  • Where: Room 314, Steele building
  • Speaker: Lynda Cheshire is a professor of sociology at the University of Queensland. Her research explores that way socio-structural and urban policy changes impact on the way people live and interact in local neighbourhoods and communities, and the effect of these on social conflict, cohesion and sense of home. Her current research focuses on the negative side of neighbouring, or ‘un-neighbourliness’ and the way neighbour problems are experienced, managed and patterned by neighbourhood characteristics. She has published the findings of her research widely in journals such as Urban Studies, Housing Studies Journal of Rural Studies and Environment and Planning (A&C).