“Third places” and social interaction in deprived neighbourhoods in Great Britain

Article

Abstract

This paper explores social interaction in local ‘public’ social spaces such as local shops, pubs, cafés, and community centres in deprived neighbourhoods. More specifically, it examines the importance, role and function of these places, which have been described by Oldenberg and Brissett (Qual Sociol 5(4):265–284, 1982), Oldenburg (Urban design reader. Architectural Place, Oxford, 2007) as being “third places” of social interaction after the home (first) and workplace (second). It does so by drawing on data gleaned from in-depth interviews with 180 residents in six deprived areas neighbourhoods across Great Britain, conducted as part of a study of the links between poverty and place funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. The paper notes that local third places are an important medium for social interaction in these areas, although their importance appears to vary by population group. It notes that shops appear to be a particularly important social space. It also identifies some of the barriers to social interaction within third places and concludes by highlighting some of the key implications for policy to emerge from the research.

Keywords

Social interaction Third places Deprivation Neighbourhood renewal 

References

  1. Allen, C., Camina, M., Casey, R., Coward, C., & Wood, M. (2005). Mixed tenure, twenty years on: Nothing out of the ordinary. York: JRF.Google Scholar
  2. Amin, A. (2002). Ethnicity and the multicultural city: Living with diversity. Environment and Planning A, 34(6), 959–980.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Ascher, F., & Godard, F. (1999). Vers une Troisième Solidarité. Esprit, 258, 168–189.Google Scholar
  4. Bailey, N., Haworth, A., Manzi, T., Primali, P., & Roberts, M. (2006). Creating and sustaining mixed income communities: A good practice guide. York: JRF.Google Scholar
  5. Blokand, T., & Savage, M. (2008). Social capital in and networked urbanism. In T. Blokland & M. Savage (Eds.), Networked urbanism: Social capital in the city (pp. 1–22). Aldershot: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  6. Blokland, T., & Noordhoff, F. (2008). The weakness of weak ties: social capital to get ahead among the urban poor in Rotterdam and Amsterdam. In T. Blokland & M. Savage (Eds.), Networked urbanism: Social capital in the city (pp. 105–126). Aldershot: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  7. Blokland, T., & van Eijk, G. (2010). Does living in a poor neighbourhood result in network poverty? A study on local networks, locality-based relationships and neighbourhood settings. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 35(10), 313–332.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bridge, G. (2002). The neighbourhood and social networks. CNR Paper 4.Google Scholar
  9. Buonfino, A., & Hilder, P. (2006). Neighbouring in contemporary Britain. York: JRF.Google Scholar
  10. Burt, R. (1997). A note on social capital and network content. Social Networks, 19, 355–373.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Campbell, K., & Lee, B. (1992). Sources of personal neighbor networks: Social integration, need or time? Social Forces, 70(4), 1077–1100.Google Scholar
  12. Carley, M., Kirk, K., & McIntosh, S. (2001). Retailing, Sustainability and neighbourhood regeneration. York: JRF.Google Scholar
  13. Carmona, M., Heath, T., Oc, T., & Tiesdell, S. (2003). Public places—urban spaces: The dimensions of urban design. London: Architectural Press.Google Scholar
  14. Cheang, M. (2002). Older adults’ frequent visits to a fast-food restaurant: Non-obligatory social interaction and the significance of play in “third place”. Journal of Aging Studies, 1(3), 303–321.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Cheshire, P. (2007). Segregated and mixed communities. York: JRF.Google Scholar
  16. CLG (Communities and Local Government). (2008). Guidance on meaningful interaction: How encouraging positive relationships between people can help build community cohesion. London: CLG.Google Scholar
  17. Coleman, A. (1985). Utopia on trial: Vision and reality in planned housing. London: Hilary Shipman.Google Scholar
  18. Crisp, R. (forthcoming). ‘Communities with oomph’? Exploring the potential for stronger social ties to revitalise disadvantaged neighbourhoods. Environment and Planning C.Google Scholar
  19. Dekker, K. (2006). Governance as glue: Urban governance and social cohesion in post WWII neighbourhoods in the Netherlands. Utrecht: Faculty of GeoSciences.Google Scholar
  20. Dekker, K., & Filipovic, M. (2004). Effects of physical measures on social cohesion: Case studies in the Netherlands and Slovenia. In R. Rowlands, S. Musterd, & R. van Kempen (Eds.), Mass housing in Europe: Multiple faces of development, change and response (pp. 157–190).Google Scholar
  21. Dolphin, T. (2009). The impact of the recession on Northern City-regions. London: IPPR.Google Scholar
  22. Ducheneaut, N., Moore, R., & Nickell, E. (2004). Designing for sociability in massively multyplayer games: An examination of the third places of SWG. Working Paper, Centre for Computer Games Research, Available at: http://barzilouik.free.fr/cnam/DEA_STIC_opt_CONCEPT_APP_MULTIMED_2005/UV_PetitOral/2_MMORPG_PbTech/JMM/ducheneaut_moore_nickell.pdf.
  23. Emerson, M., Kimbro, R., & Yancey, G. (2002). Contact theory extended: The effects of prior racial contact on current social ties. Social Science Quarterly, 83(3), 745–761.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Flint, J. (2006). Surveillance and exclusion practices in the governance of access to shopping centres on periphery estates in the UK. Surveillance and Society, 4(1/2), 52–68.Google Scholar
  25. Flint, J. (2012). Neighbourhood sustainability: Residents’ perceptions and perspectives. In J. Flint & M. Raco (Eds.), The future of sustainable cities: Critical reflections (pp. 203–224). Bristol: Policy Press.Google Scholar
  26. Forrest, R., & Kearns, A. (2001). Social cohesion, social capital and the neighbourhood. Urban Studies, 38(12), 2125–2143.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Friedrichs, J., Galster, G., & Musterd, S. (2003). Neighbourhood effects on social opportunities: The European and American research and policy context. Housing Studies, 18(6), 797–806.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Goodchild, B. (2008). Homes, cities and neighbourhoods: Planning the residential landscapes of modern Britain. Aldershot: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  29. Guest, A., & Wierzbicki, S. (1999). Social ties at the neighborhood level. Urban Affairs Review, 35(1), 92–111.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Hall, J. (2012). A dozen pubs close each week. Daily Telegraph Online, April 30, 2012. Retrieved April 30, 2012, from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/9236865/A-dozen-pubs-close-each-week.html.
  31. Hastings, A., Bramley, G., Bailey, N., & Watkins, D. (2012). Serving deprived communities in recession. York: JRF.Google Scholar
  32. Holland, C., Clark, A., Katz, J., & Peace, S. (2007). Social interactions in urban public places. York: JRF.Google Scholar
  33. Hunter, A., & Suttles, G. (1972). The expanding community of limited liability. In G. Suttles (Ed.), The social construction of communities. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  34. Jupp, B. (1999). Living together: Community life on mixed tenure estates. London: Demos.Google Scholar
  35. Lawson, K. (2002). Libraries in the USA as traditional and virtual third places. New Library World, 105(1198/99), 125–130.Google Scholar
  36. Martin, G., & Watkinson, J. (2003). Rebalancing communities: Introducing mixed incomes into existing rented housing estates. York: JRF.Google Scholar
  37. Matthews, H., Limb, M., & Taylor, M. (2000). The street as thirdspace: Class, gender and public space. In S. Holloway & G. Valentine (Eds.), Children’s geographies: Living, playing, learning and transforming everyday world. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  38. Miller, N. (2003). Personalisation and the promise of contact theory. Journal of Social Issues, 58(2), 387–410.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Mitchell, C. (1969). The concept and use of social networks. In C. Mitchell (Ed.), Social networks in urban situations. Manchester: Manchester University Press.Google Scholar
  40. Nagel, C., & Hopkins, P. (2010). Spaces of multiculturalism. Space and Polity, 14(1), 1–11.Google Scholar
  41. Nasar, J., & Julian, D. (1995). The psychological sense of community in the neighbourhood. American Planning Association, 61(2), 178–184.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Oldenberg, R. (1989). The great good place: Cafés, coffee shops, bookstores, bars, hair salons and the other hangouts at the heart of a community. Cambridge, MA: De Capo Press.Google Scholar
  43. Oldenberg, R. (2007). The character of third places. In M. Carmona & S. Tiesdell (Eds.), Urban design reader. Oxford: Architectural Place.Google Scholar
  44. Oldenberg, R., & Brissett, D. (1982). The third place. Qualitative Sociology, 5(4), 265–284.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Pettigrew, T. (1998). Intergroup contact theory. Annual Review of Psychology, 49, 65–85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Power, A., & Wilmot, H. (2007). Social capital within the neighbourhood, CASE Report 38. London: London School of Economics.Google Scholar
  47. Putnam, R. D. (2000). Bowling along: The collapse and revival of American Community. London: Simon and Shuster.Google Scholar
  48. Riger, S., & Lavrakas, P. (1981). Community ties: Patterns of attachment and social interaction in urban neighborhoods. American Journal of Community Ties, 9(1), 55–66.Google Scholar
  49. Robinson, D. (2011). The spatial routines of daily life in low-income neighbourhoods: Escaping the ‘local trap’. Space and Polity, 12(2), 125–141.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Rosenbaum, M. (2006). Exploring the social supportive role of third places in consumers’ lives. Journal of Service Research, 9(1), 59–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Rosenbaum, M., Ward, J., Walker, B., & Ostrom, A. (2007). A cup of coffee with a dash of love: An investigation of commercial social support and third-place attachment. Journal of Service Research, 10(1), 43–59.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Ross, C., & Jang, S. (2000). Neighborhood disorder, fear, and mistrust: The buffering role of social ties with neighbors. American Journal of Commuinty, Psychology, 28(4), 401–420.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Sanchez-Jankowski, M. (2008). Cracks in the pavement: Social change and resilience in poor neighbourhoods. London: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  54. Sennett, R. (1992). The conscience of the eye: The design and social life of cities. London: Faber and Faber.Google Scholar
  55. Silverman, E., Lupton, R., & Fenton, A. (2005). A good place for children? Attracting and retaining families in inner urban mixed income communities. York: JRF.Google Scholar
  56. Skjaeveland, O., Garling, T., & Maeland, J. (1996). A multidimensional measure of neighboring. American Journal of Community Psychology, 24(3), 413–435.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Small, M., Jacobs, E., & Massengill, R. (2008) Why organizational ties matter for neighborhood effects: A study of resource access through childcare centers. Working Paper, Princeton University.Google Scholar
  58. Soukup, C. (2006). Computer-mediated communication as a virtual third place: Building Oldenburg’s great good places on the world wide web. New Media and Society, 8(3), 421–440.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Speak, S., & Graham, S. (2000). Service not included? Social implications of private sector service restructuring in marginalised neighbourhoods. Bristol: The Policy Press.Google Scholar
  60. Steinkuehler, C., & Williams, D. (2006). Where everybody knows your (screen) name: Online games as “third places”. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 11(4), article 1.Google Scholar
  61. Transport, Local Government and the Regions Committee (TLGRC). (2002). Public space: The role of PPG17 in the urban renaissance, third report of session 2001-02. HC 381, section 50. London: The Stationery Office.Google Scholar
  62. Tunstall, R. (2009). Communities in recession: The impact on deprived communities. York: JRF.Google Scholar
  63. Tunstall, B., & Fenton, A. (2006). In the mix: A review of mixed income, mixed tenures and mixed communities. York: JRF/Housing Corporation.Google Scholar
  64. Van Kempen, R., & Bolt, G. (2009). Social cohesion, social mix, and urban policies in the Netherlands. Journal of the Housing and the, Built Environment, 24(4), 457–475.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Wallop, H. (2012). 48,000 Empty shops blight UK high streets. Daily Telegraph Online, February 7, 2012. Retrieved April 30, 2012, from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/retailandconsumer/9064471/48000-empty-shops-blight-UK-high-streets.html.
  66. Young, M., & Willmott, P. (1957). Family and kinship in east London. London: Penguin Books.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Regional Economic and Social ResearchSheffield Hallam UniversitySheffieldUK

Personalised recommendations