Community attachment in a racially integrated neighborhood

Samuel Richard Brown, University of Pennsylvania


Community attachment has rarely been adequately defined and tested. It remains a key construct for the understanding of community life, however, due to its influence on neighborhood intimates, sentiment, and social activity. The current study defines attachment multidimensionally and examines its correlates. The data come from two sources--mailed questionnaires (N = 499), part of a 1989 survey conducted by the author; and personal interviews conducted in 1967 (N = 3,870) as part of a study by Bradburn, Sudman and Gockel (1970). Racial differences appeared in four of the dimensions of attachment in the 1967 data--higher institutional ties for whites and more neighboring, local friends, and organizational involvement for blacks. The greatest differences in the 1989 data occurred between religious groups. In particular, Jewish respondents had more neighboring, organizational ties, local friends and neighborhood happiness. The Jewish attachment was likely influenced by the highly community-oriented nature of the neighborhood synagogue and by the tendency of Jewish respondents to be culturally and politically liberal. There were also differences in the organizational involvement and social networks of respondents. Members of the neighborhood improvement associations tended to be white and to have higher than average incomes. Members of the local food co-op, on the other hand, were more likely to be highly educated whites with low incomes or low occupational prestige. Both blacks and whites had inter-racial social networks, although whites tended to have networks that were more racially homogeneous.

Subject Area

Sociology|Ethnic studies|Social structure

Recommended Citation

Brown, Samuel Richard, "Community attachment in a racially integrated neighborhood" (1990). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI9026525.