neighborhood organization

Seeing Like a Neighbor: Rethinking Neighborhoods as Service-oriented Communities

By Germaine R. Halegoua (University of Michigan) and Bonnie J. Johnson (University of Kansas) | In cities around the world, informal mutual aid networks are stepping up to help local communities in the midst of a global pandemic. With stay-at-home orders in effect, neighbors are providing services to other residents such as trips to the grocery store and childcare, sharing food, homemade masks, and other amenities. What are the keys to facilitating this mutual aid? Past studies have shown that during times of crisis neighbors often band together to solve problems or mobilize to support one another and improve quality of life. Even if these collaborations are only temporary, neighbors will work together during times of immediate or urgent need in order to ameliorate or deliberate about political concerns or social problems that affect them directly. Our study indicates that observability is also important to activating innate desires for neighbors to provide mutual aid. For this particular crisis, people are staying at home but they are not necessarily staying inside, they are outside walking their dogs, riding bicycles, gardening, or playing in their front yards. Neighbors can easily observe other neighbors and are able to have brief casual encounters to check in with each other and provide assistance. Read More

October 5, 2021 // 0 Comments