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Determinants, directions, outcomes, and measurement of socio-spatial context in old age: The example of neighboring


Seifert, Alexander. Determinants, directions, outcomes, and measurement of socio-spatial context in old age: The example of neighboring. 2019, University of Zurich, Faculty of Arts.

Abstract

We all live in neighborhoods, and contact with and help from neighbors (known as neighboring) can result in a strong social network. The aim of this cumulative dissertation was to identify the following aspects among the older population in Switzerland: the frequency and direction of contact and help among neighbors (neighboring), the determinants of neighboring from a multidimensional viewpoint, and the positive outcomes of neighboring for the well-being of older adults. For the six studies comprising this dissertation, data were gathered through population surveys, and mobile data were obtained from smartphones in the naturalistic environment of the population being studied. The findings led to six general conclusions. First, there is appreciable social contact and exchange of help among the older population in Switzerland. Second, neighborly assistance is reciprocal, and mutual contact is a driving force behind this. Third, the determinants of given and received neighborhood help exist at the micro, meso, and macro levels. Fourth, contact with neighbors positively impacts everyday life, provides a feeling of not being alone, and gives a sense of belonging to a neighborhood. Fifth, neighboring varies between contexts and situations, highlighting the need to measure social behavior in its naturalistic environment. Sixth, collecting mobile data via smartphones, which was the approach in one of the six studies, allows for exploring social behavior in real life. By offering new insights into neighboring, this dissertation makes a significant contribution to aging research and social behavior research in general and extends the basis of the measurement of social action in sociology.

Abstract

We all live in neighborhoods, and contact with and help from neighbors (known as neighboring) can result in a strong social network. The aim of this cumulative dissertation was to identify the following aspects among the older population in Switzerland: the frequency and direction of contact and help among neighbors (neighboring), the determinants of neighboring from a multidimensional viewpoint, and the positive outcomes of neighboring for the well-being of older adults. For the six studies comprising this dissertation, data were gathered through population surveys, and mobile data were obtained from smartphones in the naturalistic environment of the population being studied. The findings led to six general conclusions. First, there is appreciable social contact and exchange of help among the older population in Switzerland. Second, neighborly assistance is reciprocal, and mutual contact is a driving force behind this. Third, the determinants of given and received neighborhood help exist at the micro, meso, and macro levels. Fourth, contact with neighbors positively impacts everyday life, provides a feeling of not being alone, and gives a sense of belonging to a neighborhood. Fifth, neighboring varies between contexts and situations, highlighting the need to measure social behavior in its naturalistic environment. Sixth, collecting mobile data via smartphones, which was the approach in one of the six studies, allows for exploring social behavior in real life. By offering new insights into neighboring, this dissertation makes a significant contribution to aging research and social behavior research in general and extends the basis of the measurement of social action in sociology.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Dissertation (cumulative)
Referees:Rössel Jörg, Martin Mike
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Sociology
06 Faculty of Arts > Center for Gerontology
Dewey Decimal Classification:300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
Language:English
Date:2019
Deposited On:23 Sep 2019 12:39
Last Modified:11 Oct 2019 12:13
Number of Pages:192
OA Status:Closed

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Embargo till: 2022-08-26