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Looking for connection in society; Lessons from eight years of research on The Peaceable Neighbourhood.

Research among the Dutch population indicates an undesirable trend of increasing segregation. Scientific literature shows that a solution lies in the strengthening of relationships between (groups) of citizens. Therefore, in this essay, we explore how The Peaceable Neighbourhood contributed to strengthening relationships between children, parents, other residents and professionals. We describe cases and practical experience based on research on the Peaceable Neighbourhood program. Findings show that the Children’s Council can act as a bridge between children and other groups of residents in their neighbourhood. There are also indications that relations among professionals working with children were mutually reinforced. However, strengthening relationships between parents and professionals (linking social capital) and between groups of parents (bridging social capital) seems less successful. Parents were often unable to take initiatives or deal with the, in their eyes, more powerful and competent professionals. Professionals had difficulties in giving up responsibility. As a result of the Peaceable Neighbourhood activities, networks of parents with the same migrant background became stronger (bonding social capital), but the strengthening of relationships with members of other populations remained behind. Practical experiences teaches us that with adequate and personal commitment of professionals, trust can be gained from (groups of) parents, who can, subsequently, connect with other (groups of) parents with more confidence.
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Keywords: Segregation; The Peaceable Neighbourhood; children; parents; professionals; social capital

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Email: [email protected] 2: Email: [email protected]

Publication date: October 21, 2017

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  • Het tijdschrift Pedagogiek stelt zich ten doel de wetenschappelijke discussie over opvoeding, onderwijs en vorming binnen het Nederlands taalgebied (Nederland en Vlaanderen) te stimuleren en te ondersteunen. Pedagogiek beoogt naast een bijdrage aan het wetenschappelijke debat ook de maatschappelijke discussie op de terreinen van opvoeding, onderwijs en vorming te bevorderen. Bijdragen zullen dan ook uitdrukkelijk worden beoordeeld op zowel hun wetenschappelijke als maatschappelijke relevantie. Pedagogiek biedt: (1) wetenschappelijke verslagen van empirisch, theoretisch en historisch onderzoek op het gebied van opvoeding, onderwijs en vorming, alsmede review studies op onderhavige terreinen; (2) opiniërende bijdragen van wetenschappelijk niveau (Forumbijdragen); (3) boekbesprekingen.

    The journal Pedagogiek (Pedagogy) aims to stimulate and support the scholarly discourse on child rearing, education and training within the Dutch language area (The Netherlands and the Flemish region). Pedagogiek strives to contribute to the scholarly debate, but also desires to boost the public debate on the subject of child rearing, education and training. Therefore, contributions will be judged explicitly on both their scholarly merit and their social relevance. Pedagogiek offers: (1) scholarly articles reporting on empirical, theoretical and historical research in the field of child rearing, education and training, and review studies in the same field; (2) opinion pieces on a scholarly level (panel discussions); (3) book reviews.

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