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Nested Loyalties: Local Networks' Effects on Neighbourhood and Community Cohesion


Recent scholarship has suggested that cohesion at the neighbourhood level may not translate into greater cohesion for the broader community and may even have detrimental effects. Employing a sample from a recently developed 'new urbanist' community within a southern US city, the paper simultaneously explores the determinants of perceived cohesion with the local neighbourhood and with the broader community. It is found that there is indeed a positive relationship between the two in this sample. However, the determinants of the two differ: while both strong and weak informal ties in the neighbourhood increase perceived neighbourhood cohesion, only weak ties foster perceived cohesion with the broader community. No effect is found of residents' structural positions within local networks on perceived cohesion beyond the effect of strong and weak ties. The paper ends with a discussion of the implications of the findings for the broader literature viewing the effects of bridging and bonding social capital.

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