Linking the micro- and macrolevel dimensions of community social organization

  • Sampson R
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This study evaluates a multilevel theory of community social organization and its structural antecedents. The main hypothesis derived from a systemic conceptualization of community is that the effect of residential stability on social cohesion is mediated by the density of friendship and acquaintanceship networks. This hypothesis is tested in two stages using data bases constructed from a 1984 national sample of 11,030 residents of over 500 localities in Great Britain. First, the community-level results show that the positive effect of residential stability on a measure of social cohesion is accounted for by the increased level of friendship/acquaintanceship ties and the decreased level of anonymity among residents, regardless of urbanization and other sociodemographic controls. Second, the individual-level analysis indicates that residential stability has both individual and contextual effects on local social ties, which in turn promote individual attachment to community. Social cohesion is also directly related to community satisfaction at both levels of analysis. Overall, the results support and extend a systemic theory that bridges the micro- and macrolevel dimensions of community social bonds. CR - Copyright © 1991 Social Forces, University of North Carolina Press

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  • Robert J. Sampson

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