Neighborhood organizational and interactional variation in comparative perspective

Author(s): Juliana Novic

Year: 2015


The degree to which the residents of neighborhoods form integrated communities with uniform social, political, and economic conditions is highly variable. I define neighborhoods, in agreement with most earlier definitions, as based on place and presence in an urbanized environment. The forms and functions of neighborhoods, and their relationships to larger socio-political urban processes, is not well understood for preindustrial societies. Are neighborhoods fully integrated communities or are people’s primary social networks not connected to place? Does class, ethnic and occupational clustering feature as an important component in neighborhood life? Are all neighborhoods in a city tied to the same economic networks? Using available data from Mesoamerica, Asia, and Europe, I show that neighborhoods can be arranged along a continuum from integrated administrative units to fragmented and acephelous residential zones. Within the same city, neighborhoods often have different socio-spatial conditions. Despite the small sample size, my comparative data offer a glimpse into the processes that produce these varying neighborhood conditions and dynamics that may lead to healthy or decaying cities.

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Cite this Record

Neighborhood organizational and interactional variation in comparative perspective. Juliana Novic. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 394825)