Examine the Argument That “Good Fences Make Good Neighbours.”

1014 Words May 13th, 2013 5 Pages
In this essay I will attempt to show that social “fences”, although a necessary part of social life, can lead to conflict and the need for resolution if they are too rigid or too unclear, particularly within larger communities.
Modern communities are divided into neighbourhoods, streets and homes. Homes are usually occupied by couples, families or groups of associates, who assume a collective identity as occupants of the dwelling. They will also assume a collective identity along with the occupants of other nearby dwellings as members of a neighbourhood community, and relational identities as each other’s neighbours. Their membership of the former may on occasion clash with their identity as members of the latter, particularly if there
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(Byford, 2009, p257). Thus, neighbouring is an “occasioned activity” (Laurier et al, cited in Byford, 2009, p256) – under the unwritten rules of neighbouring, it should not take place too often and there should be a good reason for it, in most cases, with most neighbours choosing not to socialise with each other as they would with their friends.
As observed by Harold Garfinkel, social life is constantly being made and repaired by the never-ending flow of social interaction (Taylor, 2009, p173), and most of us instinctively play our parts in society by knowing the correct course of action to repair social order if that order is broken, whether by ourselves or another party, despite the fact that there if no official “rule book” of neighbouring. However, sometimes the unspoken rules of interaction can be unclear, and disputes can arise between neighbours. In these cases, both parties in most cases realise that they must somehow work together to repair the situation, either by discussing the matter among themselves and arriving at a mutually agreeable resolution, or – in more serious cases – by using a trained local government-funded mediator to help them come to

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