The Geography of Belonging: Place, Proximity, and Social Support

The Geography of Belonging: Place, Proximity, and Social Support

The Geography of Belonging: Place, Proximity, and Social Support

The Geography of Belonging: Place, Proximity, and Social Supports

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Référence bibliographique [5046]

Anderson, Dale E. 2003. «The Geography of Belonging: Place, Proximity, and Social Support». Thèse de doctorat, Ottawa, University of Ottawa, Département de géographie.

Fiche synthèse

1. Objectifs

Intentions :
« One of the objectives of this research [is] thus to dust the cobwebs off this concept, and reexamine it through a study of the social support experiences of the elderly in the Outaouais, the southwestern administrative region of the Province of Quebec, Canada. » (p. 2)
« The goal of this research is to make original substantive and theoretical contributions to current understanding about role of neighbourhood-based social support to the well-being of the community-dwelling elderly, and in so doing, reinvigorate the concept of sociospatial support. » (p. 3)

Questions/Hypothèses :
« It will accomplish this goal by searching for answers to the following research questions:
- Is the neighbourhood a place to which the Outaouais elderly feel a sense of belonging, and is this insideness an important source of implicit social support?
- What is the relative importance of kin and nonkin in the support networks of the Outaouais elderly? Are neighbours an important source of social support?
- What is the role played by place (as in neighbourhood) and proximity in shaping the support networks of the Outaouais elderly (i.e., the structural dimensions of support), and the social support they receive (i.e., the functional dimensions of support)? Proximity refers to the role of distance and the relative location of support providers. » (pp. 3-4)

2. Méthode

Échantillon/Matériau :
« The objective sphere of the research refers to the study area (the Outaouais) and population (those aged 55 to 74) [...]. The subjective sphere of the conceptual framework is investigated using three data sources: the National Population Health Survey, a national survey conducted by Statistics Canada; a regional survey of the Outaouais elderly conducted by researchers in the Department of Geography at the University of Ottawa; and in-depth interviews conducted by the author. » (p. 47)

Type de traitement des données :
Analyse statistique et analyse de contenu

3. Résumé

« This thesis is about belonging, about people’s ties to others and the nature of those ties; such ties are referred to by social scientists as social support. Social support has traditionally been studied with respect to two dimensions: structural dimensions refer to the characteristics of the individuals who are part of an individual’s social support network (such as their number, or the frequency with which they interact); functional dimensions refer to the types of support that are exchanged between people (such as practical help, or affection). In the early 1980s, Graham Rowles, an American geographer studying the elderly, proposed that the combination of the support received by the elderly, and the place in which it was provided, gave rise to sociospatial support - a concept that has lain dormant ever since. This thesis is an attempt to reinvestigate this concept, and explore how place (i.e., the neighbourhood) and proximity influence the social support that is received by the elderly (those aged 55 to 74) in the Outaouais region of the Province of Québec. The research makes use of three data sources: information on basic structural and functional dimensions of support in the lives of the elderly is provided by the National Population Health Survey; a regional survey of the Outaouais elderly provides insights into the role of the neighbourhood and neighbours in the provision of support, with a particular interest in the provision of support by nonkin; and, finally, a series of interviews with selected elderly allow for understanding of the previous two stages within the context of individual experience. The research findings enabled the proposal of the kinship continuum, in which it was hypothesized that ties to nonkin could be placed along a continuum of intimacy or propinquity, with kindred of recognition anchoring one end, and kindred of communitatis securing the other. The most substantial contribution was the proposal of a framework for a geography of belonging, in which three modalities - network, properties of the person, and milieu - were identified and delineated along a number of attributes, in an attempt to advance Rowles’s original concept. » (p. xi)