Defining the concept of neighborhood has long been a goal in urban research. In this paper, I trace the various meanings of neighborhood articulated by scholars, from neighborhood-as-community to functional and demographic typologies, to examinations of the effects of residential environments on human behavior. In identifying the myriad meanings of neighborhood, this paper highlights the contingency and flexibility of the concept. I argue that it is precisely because of its blurriness and flexibility that neighborhood has salience: The concept of neighborhood is primarily a social and political product, created through activism, and through research on sociospatial relations. Rather than seeking a fixed definition that can apply to many circumstances, I argue that research on neighborhoods ought to focus on how neighborhoods are produced socially and, in turn, physically, through cooperation and conflict. I apply this framework of enacting neighborhood to a brief case study of neighborhood conflicts in Athens, Georgia. © 2003 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.
Martin, Deborah G., "Enacting neighborhood1" (2003). Geography. 378.