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Life in Two Enclave Areas
Chapter 2: Migration and stability of the populations



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Text: Ruth Moore and Marie Smyth ... Page Compiled: Fionnuala McKenna

2. MIGRATION AND STABILITY OF THE POPULATIONS

We were interested to learn more about respondents plans to stay or move out of the area, how such decisions were made, and about some of the factors which influence their decisions. Question 2 asked:

    Do you feel you have a real free choice in whether you remain living in this area or whether you move to another area?

Responses to question 2 are shown in the table below and in the following diagram.

Table 23 : Choice in staying or moving
Percentages in each community

. Gobnascale Fountain Gobnascale% Fountain%
Yes

201

89

76

74

No

59

21

22

17

Other

2

9

1

7

No response

2

2

1

2

Total

264

121

100

100

GRAPH








Differences between the two areas were statistically significant at the .002 % level. From the responses to this question, it appears that around three quarters of respondents in each area feel that their decision to stay or leave was their own free choice. The percentage of respondents in the Fountain who felt that they had a free choice was lower than the percentage of Gobnascale respondent making the same response. Conversely, the number of Gobnascale respondents who felt that they didn't have a free choice was higher than those in the Fountain making the same response. From this we could conclude that the pattern of response on this question is somewhat different between the two areas, with a greater proportion of Gobnascale respondents reporting both that they had a free choice and conversely that they did not have a free choice, whilst a greater proportion of Fountain respondents made "other" responses, or no response at all. The result here is somewhat surprising, since the qualitative evidence would suggest that morale is higher in the Gobnascale community, whilst the response in this question would tend to be a contraindication to community morale. The question may be at fault, perhaps it is too vague and allows too broad a range of "yes" and "no" responses. It is difficult to interpret the exact meaning of the response to this question, in isolation from other questions in this section . However, it is perhaps worth noting that residents reasons for wanting to move, and for being unable to move, are often very complex, as illustrated by some of the data from the Londonderry Resident's Survey, where, for example, financial reasons rated highly amongst factors influencing decisions to move.

In Question 3, we asked a more concrete question: "Are you intending to move in the near future?" Responses to question 3 are shown in the table below and in the following diagram.

Table 24 : Intention to move in near future
Percentages in each community

. Gobnascale Fountain Gobnascale% Fountain%
Yes

44

14

17

12

No

181

77

69

64

Undecided

37

30

14

25

No response

2

0

1

0

Total

264

121

101

101

Once again, differences between the two areas were statistically significant, this time at the .04% level. Again, a greater proportion (17%) of Gobnascale respondents indicated that they intended to move in the near future, and conversely a greater proportion indicated no intention to move. Substantial differences in the proportion of respondents in the two areas who indicated that they were undecided emerge. (14% in Gobnascale and 25% in the Fountain.) This perhaps reflects to some extent the higher "other" and "no response" return for the Fountain on question 2. We represent the responses to question 3 in the diagram below.










GRAPH


Question 4 asked a further concrete question about plans for moving:

      Have you

        applied for a housing transfer to another area?
        made an offer on a house for sale in another area?
        other definite plans for moving?

The table below, and the subsequent diagram, shows the results for this question in the two areas.

Table 25 : Plans for moving
Numbers and percentages in each community

. Gobnascale Fountain Gobnascale% Fountain%
Applied for housing transfer

24

7

9

6

Made an offer on house

1

2

0

2

Other definite plans for
moving

22

5

8

4

No response

36

30

14

25

Not applicable

181

77

69

64

Total

264

121

100

101

GRAPH










In this instance, none of the differences between the two areas on any of the options in question 4 were statistically significant.

We were also interested in who within the family or living group made the decision to move or stay in the area, how much respondents felt that these were individual, family or community decisions. In question 5, we asked:

    " If you have made a decision to go or stay was it:
    a personal individual decision
    a decision made by others in your family on your behalf
    a decision made by you and your partner
    a family decision in which you played a part
    part of wider community trend
    other(please explain)"

Responses to question 5 are shown in the table below.

Table 26 : Who made decision about moving
Numbers and percentages in each community

.

Gobnascale
%

Fountain
%

Gobnascale
rank

Fountain
rank

a personal individual
decision

33

52

1

1

a decision made by others
in your family on your behalf

2

1

5

6

a decision made by you and
your partner

27

22

2

2

a family decision in which
you played a part

16

7

4

4

part of a wider community
trend?

1

1

7

6

children/dogs/vandalism/
nuisance in the area

1

0

7

-

other

2

2

5

5

no response

17

15

3

3

Differences between the two areas were statistically significant at the .03% level. Respondents were asked to explain any other responses they made, and as a result, we constructed another category of decision - the decision which was provoked by children, dogs, vandalism, or other perceived "nuisances" in the area. However, this applied largely to Gobnascale respondents, 1% of whom made responses in this category.

Elsewhere in these data, there are some differences between the two areas in terms of decision making. 52% of residents in The Fountain said that the decision to stay or go was a personal individual one, whereas only 33% of Gobnascale residents gave that answer. This could, however reflect the higher level of single person households in The Fountain.

We were then interested in factors specifically related to the troubles which influenced respondents decisions to stay or move. Other factors such as amenities are dealt with in another section of this report. In question 6, we asked: "If you have moved into the area in the last 20 years, which of the following factors influenced your decision to move into Gobnascale/Top of the Hill/Fountain?" and then provided a list of factors to choose from. Responses to question 6 are shown in the table below and in the following diagram.

Table 27 : Troubles -related factors influencing decision to move
Numbers and percentages in each community


Gobna
scale
%
Foun
tain
%
Gobn
ascale
rank
Foun
tain
rank
signific
-ance of
differ
-ence
1. attacks on my house/family

6

3

10

7

.02

2. fear of attack on house/family

6

2

10

8

NS

3. other members of family
moved into this area

22

17

2

4

NS

4. wanting to live among same religion

11

16

5

5

NS

5. proximity to church and schools

16

13

4

6

NS

6. proximity to town centre

9

33

6

2

.0

7. availability of suitable housing

39

18

1

3

.00005

No response

20

35

3

1

-

On three of the response categories, significant differences emerge between the two areas. On the first category, "attacks on my house/family" there was a significantly higher response from Gobnascale respondents (6%), than from respondents in the Fountain (4%). The second area of difference is in the response levels between the two areas on "proximity to the town centre" as an influence on the decision to move. Here, Fountain respondents indicated that this was a much more significant factor for them than for Gobnascale respondents, although it is somewhat unclear from the data whether proximity to the town centre is considered an advantage or not. The difficulties generated for Fountain residents by heavy traffic and car parking in the area, may counterbalance any convenience such proximity might have. The third area of difference is in response to "availability of suitable housing". This was a bigger factor in Gobnascale (39%) than in Fountain (18%), and this is possibly related to the development of new housing in the Gobnascale area in the 1970, which enticed people to live in a "new estate".Thus, the motivation for many of the longer term residents in moving to Gobnascale was because of the availability of housing.

On the other issues, there were no significant differences between the two areas, although it is noteworthy that certain factors are more important than others in both areas. Proximity to family members is an important factor in both areas, as is "wanting to live among the same religion". Fear of attack was rated further down the list in both areas. Although reported fear was lower in the Fountain (2%) than in Gobnascale (6%), this difference was not significant. Similarly, "wanting to live among the same religion" was higher in the Fountain (16%) than Gobnascale (11%), though again, this difference was not significant.

We went on to ask a question which specifically addressed some of the troubles-related experiences which occurred in the two areas, and which might have influenced respondents to revise their decision about staying in the area. Question 14 asked respondents to indicate on a list of factors related to the troubles any which made them want to stay or leave their area. The responses to question 14 are shown in the table below.
Table 28 : Other troubles-related factors influencing decision to move
Numbers and percentages in each community

. has made or
makes me
has made or
makes me
no response .
. want to
Gobna
scale%
stay
Fount
ain %
want to
Gobna
scale%
leave
Fount
ain %
G F signific
ance of
differ
-ence
intimidation, threats, sectarian attacks on
self/family?

9

13

22

17

70

69

NS

-intimidation, threats, sectarian attacks in
the area

8

12

25

17

67

70

NS

-witnessing violence & hijackings in the area

6

9

31

11

62

80

.00007

-killing of people from the area

7

12

27

10

66

78

.0003

-setting up of vigilantes

9

9

19

9

71

82

.03

-police harassment of people in the area

8

10

34

12

58

79

.00002

-the need to conceal where you are from
when outside of area

9

12

27

17

64

70

NS

-fear of retaliation if spoke out

9

10

27

12

63

78

.004

-the need to defy intimidation

17

22

13

4

70

74

.02

-protection by security forces

11

23

14

5

75

72

.0006

-negotiating problems with the other
community

16

16

8

4

75

80

NS

-close knit relationships within the area

46

40

6

4

48

55

NS

-misunderstanding of your community
by the other community

17

19

12

11

71

70

NS

-tension in area because of marches or
demonstrations by your own or other community

11

18

24

17

65

64

NS

-feeling of safety within the area

48

40

12

8

39

51

NS

A number of factors examined in question 14 show no significant differences between the two communities. A number of these factors were common experiences for respondents in both areas, such as intimidation, threats, sectarian attacks on self/family, or in the area; the need to conceal where you are from; negotiating problems with the other community; misunderstanding of your community by the other community; tension in the area due to marches, and feelings of safety in the area were all experienced at similar levels by respondents in both communities - or at least the differences between the levels of their experience were insignificant.

Differences emerged between the two areas in a series of responses in which Gobnascale rated five factors higher than Fountain respondents, and Fountain respondents rated two factors higher than Gobnascale respondents. The factors which made people want to leave and which Gobnascale respondents rated higher were:

witnessing violence and hijackings in the area (G=31%, F=11%)
killing of people from the area (G=27%, F=10%)
setting up of vigilantes (G=19%, F= 9%)
police harassment of people in the area (G=34%, F=12%)
fear of retaliation if I spoke out (G=27%, F=12%)

For Gobnascale respondents, it would appear that there are significantly more violence-related or troubles-related factors involved in their decision to stay or leave the area.

This is borne out by the two factors on which Fountain residents scored higher:

    the need to defy intimidation (stay: G=17%, F=22%: leave: G=13%, F=4%), and
    protection by the security forces (stay: G=11%, F=23%: leave: G=14%, F=5%)

On the first factor, the need to defy intimidation, it would appear that this is a real motivation for respondents staying in the Fountain, whereas it is significantly less of a motivation for Gobnascale respondents. The second factor, protection by the security forces, was also scored significantly differently by respondents from the two areas. Gobnascale respondents more likely to see protection by the security forces as a reason for leaving the area than for staying in it, whereas the converse was true in the Fountain. Again, the attitudes and experiences of people in the two areas on issues of security have shown up as quite different.

 

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