Examine the Argument That Neighbourly Relations Are Characterised by Friendly Distance.

Topics: Community, Neighbourhood, Cultural identity Pages: 3 (966 words) Published: October 15, 2012
Neighbourly relations are based upon several factors as they are important to people’s standard of living in a community. They must get on with each other and be able to live in peace as they are not related, yet living close enough to affect each other on a daily basis – and in some cases the living quarters may be closer than others. The term ‘friendly distance’ is necessary in the relationship between two neighbours as it is the harmony between being just the right amount of polite and approachable, whilst also being respectful of each others privacy and personal space. These balances however are fragile and can also be toppled to form various disputes amongst neighbours. Each individual has their own identity, and these identities may alter according to where they reside or the situation they are in. In the case of neighbourhoods, they belong to a collective identity in which they must play their part to be the good neighbour. Erving Goffman (1959 as cited in Taylor, 2009, p. 172) believed that interactions were ‘dramaturgical’ meaning each individual was acting out their part as though they were in a play. As a neighbour this would mean that an individual would have to stick to certain rules and etiquettes in order to play their part well, and these rules may differ according to the neighbourhood or culture. Such rules mean that there is a standard of friendliness that is required when approaching neighbours, in the way an individual talks or does the approaching. This however may not just be applicable entirely to the way the individual acts but also in regarding the significance of the geography of the neighbourhood. For example, an appropriate place to talk may be the garden or in front of the house on the street, as this would be seen as ‘socially “available”’ (Fox, as cited in Byford, 2009, p.256). Whereas knocking on the neighbours door for a friendly chat may be regarded as too intrusive. These rules may apply as individuals and families that all...
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