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Multiple Senses of Community in Migration and Commuting: The Interplay between Time, Space and Relations

Abstract : This article explores the relation between multiple senses of communities (M-SOC), time and relationships. Modern communications have weakened the traditional relationship between physical setting and social space, enabling participation in multiple communities simultaneously. Physical presence is no longer necessary or a guarantee for participation. This article is based upon a simple premise, that while as individuals we give meaning to our realities across a complexity of communities, our relations are continuously situated in time and space. Time participating in one community is time not spent participating in another. Additionally we are continuously holding a dialogue with time, both interpreting the past and assessing the future. Emigrating and commuting are social phenomena that are both concerned with the physical movement of individuals between social spaces, with contrasting distributions of time and relations across social spaces. Data obtained from two separate survey populations -- immigrants (N = 200) and commuting university students (N = 208) from the same town -- provide the empirical basis of the article. UCINET was used to map respondents' personal networks and calculate relational variables. M-SOC, measured with the Sense of Community Index (SCI), was correlated with (1) the distribution of time, (2) the future expectations of and (3) relational variables across multiple communities. In the case of foreigners, the number of years living in Spain was a significant predictor in three different hierarchical regressions of the sense of community with their neighbourhood in the sending country, their neighbourhood in Spain and the community of expatriate compatriots. For commuters, the average time spent daily in the city of residence, the average degree of their personal networks and the presence of people from the city of residence in their personal networks were all positively associated with the sense of community of the city of residence.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, July 3, 2012 - 8:03:21 PM
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  • HAL Id : halshs-00714300, version 1



Isidro Maya Jariego, Neil Armitage. Multiple Senses of Community in Migration and Commuting: The Interplay between Time, Space and Relations. International Sociology, SAGE Publications, 2007, 22 (6), pp.743-766. ⟨halshs-00714300⟩



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