Department of Sociology and Social Work

Research project by SocMap - Sociological Mapping

BELONGING - Local community, mobility and belonging. An analysis of the relationship between place affiliation, local community and mobility.

BELONGING - Local community, mobility and belonging

An analysis of the relationship between place affiliation, local community and mobility.

Last modified: 01.09.2008

The aim of the project is to analyse the interconnections between mobility, local community and belonging. Many sociologists argue that local communities are changing as a result of the individual being increasingly detached from geographical locations and at the same time social policy initiatives on the other hand seek to exploit local communities as part of various forms of integrative tasks. The project will provide insight into whether local communities are different in different types of neighbourhoods, whether they are positively or negatively affected by the mobility of local residents and whether local communities are affected by residents' feelings of belonging.

The project aims at answering the following questions:

  • Are place affiliation and local communities different among different social groups or are there factors other than traditional socio-economic ones that divide the population when it comes to local anchoring? 
  • How does place affiliation interact with commitment to the area in which people live? 
  • What significance do family breakups, relocation patterns and commuting have for site affiliation as well as for the creation and maintenance of local communities?

The project uses a two-step method. The first part consists of a register-based quantitative study of relocation mobility, in which neighbourhoods and areas are characterized with regard to the extent of relocation mobility, commuting patterns, demography and family dissolution over a period of 25 years. Based hereon, the second part of the project is presented as a qualitative study of different types and causes of mobility as well as the issue of place belonging. The focus of the project is the new Aalborg municipality, which after the amalgamation of municipalities in 2007 is Denmark's third largest municipality. The municipality contains many different types of local areas; from the relatively segregated urban districts of the big city, to the upland towns with a mixed composition of the population to the depopulated small towns on the outskirts of the municipality.

The project is led by Professor Anja Jørgensen and SocMap member Mia Arp Fallow is part of the research team. The project is funded by The Independent Research Fund Denmark | Social Sciences.

Contact information:

Professor Anja Jørgensen: E-mail:


Start/end date: 1 September 2008 → 31 August 2011

Go to BELONGING's website

Department of Sociology and Social Work • Fibigerstraede 13 • 9220  Aalborg East  • Phone: +45 9940 8310 • Email:
Vat no.: 5798000420649 • P numbers; Aalborg: 1012066143, Copenhagen: 1018019139