On the Subjective Quality of Social Interactions: Influence of Neighborhood Walkability, Social Cohesion and Mobility Choices
Washington DC, USA : [S.n.]
InProceedings 95th Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board
95th Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board, 10 januari 2016
Article in monograph or in proceedings
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Proceedings 95th Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board
SubjectInstitute for Management Research
While contemporary research in the field of transportation is paying due attention to the geography and composition of personal social networks, little do we still know about the quality of social interactions. Individuals’ quality of social life can be dictated by the subjective quality of social interactions, particularly crucial for the elderly, the disadvantaged and the migrated population. Review of literature depicts that social belongingness and geographical integration contribute to an individual’s quality of social life and that the number of social interactions do not necessarily represent the quality of social life. It is, therefore, important to gain insight in the subjective aspects of social activities in addition to the objective aspects. To that end, this study summarizes empirical evidence of factors that influence the importance of social interactions. Quality of social interactions is measured by the individual’s subjective evaluation of social interactions. The subjective value added to each of the social interactions would reflect on the individual’s social well-being, the authors argue. Further to represent geographical integration an index of perceived social cohesion has been incorporated into the estimation. Results suggest that neighborhood and mobility characteristics are important in explaining the quality of social interactions. Frequency of important social interactions is positively associated with frequency of walking or cycling. The frequency of important social interactions was also found to be higher for people living in neighborhoods with higher levels of perceived social cohesion and walkability, and lower for people living in rural areas, in neighborhoods with higher percentages of older residents and in neighborhoods with higher percentages of ethnic minorities.
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