The project in 2015 was the relationship between Social Capital and Community Cohesion in Whitley by participant observation, one-to-one interviews and an in-depth participant mapping technique
Friends and Family: Social Networks and Community Cohesion in South Reading
This research project explores the role that social networks, like family ties and friendships, play in building stronger, closer and more coherent communities. The UROP student will be part of an established team of Reading Internship students, PhD students and local residents working on the Whitley Big Local and ‘Whitely Researchers’ with Dr Sally Lloyd-Evans and Reading Buses, Circles Time Bank and ASPIRE2 with Dr Steve Musson.
The advert for the post can be seen in the link below:
Two students, Callum Barnett and Emma Lacy, were selected from the University and their projects were carried out as follows:
• The research was conducted in Whitley, South Reading. To test pilot a
new methodology, in order to better understand its effectiveness and the
social networks of people.
• Social network, is a term to describe someone’s connections to other
people. In this study it is only connections which participants can utilise for
their benefit which are counted either for financial, emotional or social
• Community cohesion means how well a community (in this case Whitley)
communicates and how connected they are.
The aim of this project:
• To understand the social networks and social capital within the Whitley area and the
link this has with community cohesion.
Lochner et al. (1999) made a distinction between the two concepts by saying that
social capital is part of a societal structure whereas social networks and support refers to
the social embedding of individuals.
• To set up interviews to understand the strength and depth of the social networks
within the area.
• Construct a report and poster that summarises the results and suggests some ways
of improving the community cohesion within Whitley
For more placement experiences click the links below: