INED researcher Joanie Cayouette-Remblière tells us about the Mon quartier, mes voisins [My neighborhood, my neighbors] survey conducted from March to July 2018 in the Paris and Lyon regions with 2,572 people living in 14 different neighborhoods.
Cayouette-Remblière co-heads the survey with Jean-Yves Authier from the Centre Max Weber.
(Interview conducted in November 2018)
What is the aim of this survey?
It is often said that relations between neighbors are undergoing a crisis in our society. Some contend that new technologies have reduced live, face-to-face exchanges. At the other extreme, there is a perception of the neighborhood as ghetto, symbolizing strong and even excessively strong ties between neighbors.
We wanted to probe these seemingly contradictory ideas in light of what people report about their relations with their neighbors and what those relations may contribute to residents’ lives. The last quantitative surveys on the subject date back quite a while (the 1983 Contacts survey and the 1997 Relations de la vie quotidienne et isolement [Everyday relations and isolation] survey); new technologies and daily and residential mobility have all increased considerably since then along with segregation dynamics. We spent four months having respondents in 14 neighborhoods in the Lyon and Paris regions answer a questionnaire that took an average of 50 minutes. The neighborhoods are located in a wide range of different environments: city centers, peripheral and peri-urban zones, and rural communities. The central research question of the survey was how relations between neighbors contribute to social integration.
How was the survey carried out?
First, we drew up an exhaustive list of all housing units in the 14 neighborhoods to be surveyed; participating households were then selected at random from this list. A team of three interviewers worked each neighborhood, asking an adult in the randomly selected household to respond to the questionnaire. Teams went to the addresses as many as ten times at different hours in hopes of finding someone at home. In some neighborhoods they were able to schedule questionnaire sessions while in others spontaneously arranged sessions worked better. Thanks to the interviewers’ tenacity and a strict protocol, we were able to keep refusals and unreachable residents to a minimum.
What questions were respondents asked?
We asked, for example, whether they had been to a neighbor’s house or had a neighbor over in the last twelve months and why. We also wanted to get an idea of the nature and intensity of relations, so we asked respondents the kinds of exchanges they had with neighbors (services, conversations, information on schools or job opportunities) and whether they could count on their neighbors (particularly in case of financial difficulties). We also asked about possible conflicts with neighbors (nearly 25% of respondents reported having some) and on being uncomfortable with or judging or being or feeling judged by neighbors.
To reconstitute the ramifications of relations between neighbors, respondents were asked to name people in the neighborhood that they had contact with (four at most); interviewers then had those “contacts” answer the questionnaire. Altogether, over 5,700 such contacts were mentioned, only 12.8% of whom could not be identified.
We’re currently analyzing the survey findings, and in Spring 2019 will be conducting interviews with 200 inhabitants to obtain further information on certain topics.
Funding for this survey comes primarily from
- L’union sociale pour l’habitat et les bailleurs sociaux partenaires;
- Le Commissariat général à l’égalité des territoires;
- La Caisse des dépôts;
- Le Plan Urbanisme Construction Architecture (PUCA);
- La Métropole de Lyon;
- La Ville de Paris.