Neighbours is a study in both sociology and social policy. We all have neighbours, yet what is their sociological significance? How do we get on with them? What relationships do we establish with them? What kinds of everyday contact, help and support do they give? Why is social distance and even conflict also characteristic of relations between neighbours? This book, which presents and extends the work of the distinguished sociologist Philip Abrams (d. 1981), is the first major study of neighbours in Britain since the 1960s. It makes an important contribution to urban sociological theory and to understanding actual patterns of neighbouring in widely different parts of England. Neighbourhood care - help for the elderly, infirm and sick by those who live near them - is potentially a very important kind of informal social care, and the second part of the book examines by means of ten detailed case studies the potential for neighbourhood care in contemporary Britain. A central philosophical chapter suggests that pure 'goodness of heart' is rarely a motive for helping others.
'There is much good sense, sociological insight and informative ethnography in this study and neighbours deserves to be widely read.' New Society