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Examine the Argument That Neighbourly Relations Are Characterised by Friendly Stance.

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Examine the argument that neighbourly relations are characterised by friendly stance.

In this assignment it will be a chance to examine friendly distance, which is when neighbours are friendly without being too intrusive, or too close. The examples that this essay will talk about is; Jovan Byford’s experience of neighbourly interaction on the doorstep, it will explore Evan Stokoe’ study of neighbourly disputes when boundaries are crossed and Stanley Brandes visit of a Spanish community.

The first example, of neighbourly relations are characterised by friendly stance,
Is the doorstep conversation between Jovan Byford and a neighbour? The scenario occurred after a parcel was misdelivered to a wrong address, 15 Cherry Avenue, and is kindly hand delivered by a neighbour to Jovan’s address, 15 Cherry Grove. Although it is a brief interaction between the two neighbours, it does show the behaviours and actions in a social situation. (Byford: 2009, p254) mentions that, Crowe talks about A neighbour is supposed to be ‘available in times of trouble’, friendly’ and ‘a bit of a giver’, but they should also ‘mind their own business’ and not to be ‘intrusive’. This is displayed between Byford and the neighbour as it is friendly, performed on the outside (front of house) and respects the neighbours boundaries. The interaction was basic and shows the roles that each of the neighbours plays. The lady is part of the friendly stance, apologising for bothering Mr Byford, as this is an ‘occasional activity’ and doesn’t want to feel intrusive, and acknowledging Mr Byford’s right to privacy. Then explaining where she lives, gives her identity, both relational as a neighbour and collective identity as a resident in the neighbourhood. This scenario shows that the neighbours can keep each other at arms length (friendly distance) without invited in or expecting to be invited in.

The second example to support the argument, that neighbourly relations are characterised by friendly stance, is Elizabeth Stokoe study of transcripts from recordings of a mediation session involving neighbour complaints. These complaints led to a dispute between neighbours, resulting in mediators discussing the conduct of a next door couple’s behaviour. On three occasions the young lady’s lovemaking was heard, bad language also, as they performed this act with their window wide open. This resulted in the speaker (neighbour) reporting it to the authorities. They speaker describes himself as good, reasonable and tolerant neighbour. He goes on to add that they talk to the next door and they did not walking by them even though this was occurring, attributes shown by the complainant are how a neighbour should interact. (Byford: 2009, p254) states that, ‘they acquire and developing this knowledge through socialisation practice-through the practice of being a neighbour. The friendly distance has been breached through the behaviour of the neighbour and inconsideration, which has caused the complainant feeling intruded upon, their privacy invaded shown by the lovemaking and bad language. This scenario shows that friendly distance was there, and had become tested by the lovemaking. The open window demonstrates the focus on privacy, the couple could have made love with their windows closed, which in turn would have been considerate and kept it private. The neighbour had reluctantly complained to the authorities before, shows that the neighbour wanted to continue the friendly stance. The mediation work would have helped renegotiate social rules, whilst repairing the relationship with the neighbours through verbal communications.

The last example to support the argument that neighbourly relations are characterised by friendly distance is Stanley Brandes stay in a village in western Spain called Becedas. Brandes spent time observing everyday habits and the culture of the local residents, and the intimacy. His initial experience of the local residents was the way that they freely entered, without hesitation, and unpacking Brandes’s belongings. They introduced themselves warmly, offering future assistance, and immediately pointing the way to their homes. As Brandes says ‘Neighbours took us under their wings to such an extent that we felt we had been initiated into a large family’
(Byford: 2009, p261). These both show the identities of relational identity, both as a neighbour and family. He noticed that the residence went in and out of each others houses without permission, also leaving windows and doors open.
(Byford: 2009,p261) states ’In Becedas, ‘not being intrusive’ and ‘reserve’ were not seen as characteristics of a ‘good neighbour’ but of someone is rude and impolite’. This is the opposite of the friendly stance shown in the first example of the doorstep conversation, where the neighbourly rules were acted out. This seemingly works on the surface for the community life of Becedas, but under the acting there is a lack of friendly distance, there are struggles behind the scenes. The carefree attitude on privacy and the boundaries were blurred, by windows and doors are open, which has led to the intrusiveness of the community. The residents had also become reliant on one another for manual and farm work, social and practical support, so becoming heavily dependent on each other. Brandes started to realise that this closeness developed into surveillance and control; to make sure nobody was hiding anything or scheming behind each others backs. With the ‘pathological fear’ of privacy and the social rules negotiated by the residences, this did not help with trust issues and having confidence in one another. In this neighbourhood the relations seemingly were based on their negotiated social orders, but friendly distance was breached when the community became too close, intrusive and over neighbourly, because of the blurred boundaries.

In this assignment it has discussed some ways where neighbours have developed a very good understanding way to relate to one another. It has also shown that when boundaries are breached, it leaves a neighbour feeling intruded upon and their privacy invaded (Elizabeth Stokoe), leading to a dispute. The assignment has also discussed the friendly distance becoming too close in a small community, which can cause control and surveillance. The argument that neighbourly relations are characterised by friendly distance is true, as the neighbourly relations can break down if social order is breached (noise from the neighbour) or communities getting too close.

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