General

Advantages of Neighbourhoods?

Neighbourhoods have several advantages as areas for policy analysis as well as an arena for social action:

  • Neighbourhoods are common, and perhaps close to universal, since most people in urbanised areas would probably consider themselves to be living in one.
  • Neighbourhoods are convenient, and always accessible, since you are already in your neighbourhood when you walk out your door.
  • Successful neighbourhood action frequently requires little specialised technical skill, and often little or no money. Action may call for an investment of time, but material costs are often low.
  • With neighbourhood action, compared to activity on larger scales, results are more likely to be visible and quickly forthcoming. The streets are cleaner; the crosswalk is painted; the trees are planted; the festival draws a crowd.
  • Visible and swift results are indicators of success; and since success is reinforcing, the probability of subsequent neighbourhood action is increased.
  • Because neighbourhood action usually involves others, such actions create or strengthen connections and relationships with other neighbours, leading in turn to a variety of potentially positive effects, often hard to predict.
  • Over and above these community advantages, neighbourhood activity may simply be enjoyable and fun for those taking part; and can often tighten security for those partaking in neighbourhood watch communities.

But in addition to these benefits, considerable research indicates that strong and cohesive neighbourhoods and communities are linked—quite possibly causally linked—to decreases in crime, better outcomes for children, and improved physical and mental health. The social support that a strong neighbourhood may provide can serve as a buffer against various forms of adversity.

Why use the word Queer?

In academia, the term queer and the related verb queering broadly indicate the study of literature, discourse, academic fields, and other social and cultural areas from a non-heteronormative perspective. It often means studying a subject against the grain from the perspective of gender studies.

Queer studies is the study of issues relating to sexual orientation and gender identity usually focusing on LGBT people and cultures. Originally centered on LGBT history and literary theory, the field has expanded to include the academic study of issues raised in biology, sociology, anthropology, history of science, philosophy, psychology, sexology, political science, ethics, and other fields by an examination of the identity, lives, history, and perception of queer people.

Queer theory is a field of post-structuralist critical theory that emerged in the early 1990s out of the fields of queer studies and women’s studies. Many studies have acknowledged the problems that lie within the traditional theory and process of social studies, and so choose to utilise a queer theoretical approach instead.

One such study was conducted in Melbourne in 2016 by Roffee and Waling. By using queer and feminist theories and approaches the researchers were better equipped to cater for the needs, and be accommodating for the vulnerabilities, of the LGBTIQ participants of the study. In this case, it was a specifically post-modern queer theory that enabled the researchers to approach the study with a fair perspective, acknowledging all the varieties of narratives and experiences within the LGBTIQ community.

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