Understanding Neighbourhood Effects

Tuesday, 12 July 2016: 10:45
Location: Seminar 52 (Juridicum)
Oral Presentation
Sebastian KURTENBACH, Institute of Sociology and Social Psychology, Germany
One of the key concepts in urban sociology during the last two decades is neighbourhood effects. The assumption is, that a context, like a neighbourhood, mediates norms and values. Meanwhile the context itself can be material, like the broken window theory suggested, or immaterial, like the network theory suggests. The findings point in the direction, that neighbourhood effects exist, but they are non-linear and differs over time and groups. But it is not clear yet, how a neighbourhood effect works. Therefore, the contribution suggests a model to close this “research gap”. A five step-model to explain the takeover of deviant behaviour is derived from the literature about neighbourhood effects, environment-fit-models and cognitive dissonance. The model is tested through a mixed-method design, which includes results of an ethnographical fieldwork of three month, structural participant observations (N=1.557), qualitative interviews with inhabitants and local stakeholders and a quantitative survey (N=300) in a highly segregated neighbourhood in Cologne (Germany). The contribution ends with a suggestion how to develop the model and gives an outlook to further research.