Love thy neighbours, (but not too much). An Exploratory Study on Neighbouring in Italy.


  • Lidia K.C. Manzo PhD Candidate in Sociology at Trento University (Italy) and Visiting Doctoral Researcher at CUNY, New York (USA)


Neighbours, Neighbourly Relations, Supportive Relations among Families, Housing Proximity


This paper is an exploratory analysis on the role of neighbours and informal neighbour support in Italy. To be more precise, we have investigated two aspects: at the individual level, we studied the perception of neighbours, while at the family level, we were interested in understanding what kind of supportive relationships can be established between neighbours.

In the first part, we develop our theoretical framework, describing a number of factors that can influence the form and content of the neighbourly relationship, citing some results. In the second part, we use data from the Indagine Multiscopo Istat conducted in the year 2003. Regarding the level of neighbours perception, results from binomial logistic regression models indicate that, within the same socio-demographic characteristics and place of residence, there is an effect exerted by urban dimension and level of education. Urban dimension appears to have a negative effect on positive neighbours perception. However, we also found that the higher the level of education, the more likely to have a positive perception of neighbours, and this effect is higher in metropolitan areas compared to other urban areas. Interestingly, supportive relationships among Italian families who experience housing proximity, represent not only an undemanding attitude, but also an infrequent one.

Author Biography

Lidia K.C. Manzo, PhD Candidate in Sociology at Trento University (Italy) and Visiting Doctoral Researcher at CUNY, New York (USA)

Lidia K.C. Manzo is a PhD Candidate in Sociology at the University of Trento, Italy. She holds a MA in Political and Social Communication from the University of Milan where she conducted ethnographic research and produced a social documentaryon Milan’s Chinatown. Currently she is a Visiting Researcher at The City University of New York where she is conducting field and other research on the 40-year history of gentrification of a Brooklyn neighborhood. Her interests in urban studies are presently focused on analyses of socio-cultural boundaries in super-gentrified neighborhoods. She works reflexively on ethnographic experience using visual methods.