Social capital across urban neighborhoods: A comparison of self-report and observational data

Jessica Hill, Ruth Jobling, Thomas Pollet, Daniel Nettle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Previous self-report survey research has demonstrated significant variation in social trust and neighborhood social ties between two neighborhoods of contrasting socioeconomic fortunes within the same English city. Residents in a deprived neighborhood reported that they trusted their neighbors less and had fewer social ties within the neighborhood than residents in an affluent neighborhood. We carried out direct behavioral observations in these neighborhoods to determine whether this difference was apparent in behavior on the streets. We found that people were less likely to be alone and adults were more likely to engage in social interactions with other adults in the deprived neighborhood than in the affluent neighborhood, indicating a more active social life. We argue that self-reports about social interactions are not simple objective descriptions of those interactions, but involve adding interpretation and meaning to them. We highlight the importance of observational data for exploring cultural differences within and between societies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-69
JournalEvolutionary Behavioral Sciences
Volume8
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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