Redoing Caring Practices through Urban Neighborhood Materiality
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Institute of Sociology, Jagiellonian University
Submission date: 2021-08-02
Acceptance date: 2022-05-11
Publication date: 2022-09-19
Polish Sociological Review 2022;219(3):331-350
In this article we analyze the role played by materiality in the reproduction of caring practices in urban neighborhoods. Our theoretical aim is to show the capacity of social practice theory to combine and reintegrate the perspectives of sociology, anthropology, and geography through the concept of neighborhood caring, which refers to the behavioral, symbolic, and spatial dimension of people’s attitudes toward their neighbors as well as to the place they live in. Based on qualitative research in six urban housing estates in three cities, we want to examine four modes through which materialities are entangled in the invisible work of the everyday collective accomplishments of neighborhood well-being, that is: (1) integrating individual performances into collective endeavors of caring practices; (2) creating conditions for the orchestration (or disorganization) of practices of caring undertaken by a variety of entities (i.e., private and public, institutional and non-institutional); (3) being an element of social practice involved in the collective processes of negotiating and reflecting; and (4) delivering an emotional component facilitating or hampering day-to-day relations and interactions as preconditions of practices of neighborly care.
This article is an output of the research project “Differences and Boundaries in the Process of Creating Neighborhood Communities in Large Cities: A Socio-Spatial Study,” funded by the National Science Centre, Poland, under grant no. UMO-2014/15/B/HS6/01949. Research team: Marta Smagacz-Poziemska (PI), Andrzej Bukowski, Marcjanna Nóżka, Karol Kurnicki, Natalia Martini and Krzysztof Bierwiaczonek.
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