Older people's perceptions of the neighbourhood: Evidence from socially deprived urban areas

Thomas Scharf, Christopher Phillipson, Allison E Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Neighbourhoods contribute significantly to shaping their residents’ identities. For older people, the neighbourhood may be even more important than for younger people. Ageing can be associated with an intensification of feelings about locality and space, and the neighbourhood may contribute significantly to older people's quality of daily life. Within the context of a study that examines the concerns of older people living in areas of England characterised by intense social deprivation, the article explores perceptions of the local environment. Findings are reported from an empirical study conducted in nine socially deprived neighbourhoods across three cities. Data collection consisted of a survey of 600 people aged 60 and over, and in-depth interviews with 130 people of the same age group. The article focuses on older people's views in relation to both positive and negative aspects of their local environment. It concludes with a discussion of three key themes: first, the question of older peopleís attachment to their neighbourhood; second, the issue of variation between areas; and third, the impact of place on the quality of older people's daily life.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSociological Research Online
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2003


  • Deprivation
  • Neigbourhood
  • Older People
  • Social Exclusion
  • Urban Areas


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