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FSD3114 Neighbour Relations and Disputes 2012

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Authors

  • Hirvonen, Jukka (Aalto University. YTK Land Use Planning and Urban Studies Group)
  • Määttä, Tapio (University of Eastern Finland. Law School)

Keywords

community life, housing, interpersonal conflict, neighbourhoods, neighbours, residential mobility, social activities (leisure), social networks

Abstract

The survey charting neighbour relations and disputes was funded by the Academy of Finland ('The Future of Living and Housing' programme, 'Neighbour Disputes and Housing in Finland' project).

Concerning interaction with neighbours, the respondents were asked how often they visited, spent time with, helped and had conversations with their neighbours as well as how many neighbours they greeted and talked to when encountering them. Social networks were surveyed with questions about how many friends the respondents had in different groups (relatives, study/work community, neighbourhood, hobbies, other group) as well as the number of people in these groups they had difficulty getting along with.

The respondents' perceptions of their neighbours, their neighbourhood, and themselves as neighbours were charted by asking to what extent they agreed with a number of statements (e.g. "My neighbours can generally be trusted", "There is a number of different social problems in my neighbourhood", "If my neighbour causes disturbances, I will speak to them directly about it"). Some statements were presented to probe opinions on what good neighbour relations should be like ("Nowadays people care less about their neighbours than they used to").

Regarding disturbances and nuisance caused by neighbours, the respondents were asked what kind of problems they had experienced (e.g. noise from renovation, loud parties, cigarette smoke, gossiping, boundary disputes), how easily they intervened with problems in the neighbourhood, and what their reaction would be if they were told that they cause disturbances to the neighbours. Neighbour disputes and their resolution was charted with questions about the frequency of disputes between the neighbours, own involvement in the disputes, ways used to attempt to resolve the dispute, whether the respondents had ever moved house because of difficult neighbours, and whether the respondents had ever contacted or planned to contact the authorities because of a neighbour dispute. Those respondents who had planned to contact or had contacted the authorities were asked at which point in a neighbour dispute they would contact them.

Background variables included the respondent's age, gender, household composition, economic activity, education, monthly gross income, self-perceived health status and quality of life as well as housing tenure, type of accommodation, years lived in the accommodation, type of neighbourhood, and municipality type.

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