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Good NeighborsThe Democracy of Everyday Life in America$
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Nancy L. Rosenblum

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780691169439

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691169439.001.0001

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Who Is My Neighbor?

Who Is My Neighbor?

(p.23) 1 Who Is My Neighbor?
Good Neighbors

Nancy L. Rosenblum

Princeton University Press

This chapter poses the foundational question, “who is my neighbor?” Proximity to home is essential, but one can count neighbors as those who affect the quality of life at home, with whom people have repeated encounters. Neighbors should not be confused with strangers or with intimates and friends. Commonplace references to globalization, the valorization of cosmopolitanism, universal moral norms that often seem to float high off the surface of everyday relations, media that bring images and voices from across the world, tempt people to understate the significance of place. However, a pair of facts—physical proximity and proximity to home—has a bearing on all the interactions and makes encounters among neighbors a different animal than social interactions in other settings, and certainly different than relations among friends or citizens.

Keywords:   neighbors, home life, proximity, strangers, friends, globalization, cosmopolitanism, social interactions

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