The idea of community has been a consistent feature of recent academic and public discourse. Just what this term might mean, however, is the subject ongoing dispute amongst social and political thinkers. This book offers a wide-ranging exploration of the prolematique of community as it has featured in both ancient and modern thought. Through discussion of the philosophies of Aristotle, Aquinas, Rousseau, Hobbes, Kant, Hegel, Heidegger, Derrida, Levinas and others, the contours of modernity´s attempts to imagine community are excavated. Drawing upon the recent revival of interest in Hegel´s ´theory of recognition´, it offers an original theorisation of community, one that seeks to reconcile the seemingly conflicting demands of freedom and belonging. Such a theory, it is argued, is capable of simultaneously attending to the demands of solidarity, difference and critique, and as such is attuned to the complex, pluralistic and reflexive character of late modern societies.
Community is one of those words that feels good: it is good to have a community , to be in a community . And community feels good because of the meanings which the word conveys, all of them promising pleasures, and more often than not the kind of pleasures which we would like to experience but seem to miss. Community conveys the image of a warm and comfortable place, like a fireplace at which we warm our hands on a frosty day. Out there, in the street, all sorts of dangers lie in ambush; in here, in the community, we can relax and feel safe. Community stands for the kind of world which we long to inhabit but which is not, regrettably, available to us. Today community is another name for paradise lost - but for a paradise which we still hope to find, as we feverishly search for the roads that may lead us there. But there is a price to be paid for the privilege of being in a community. Community promises security but seems to deprive us of freedom, of the right to be ourselves. Security and freedom are two equally precious and coveted values which could be balanced to some degree, but hardly ever fully reconciled. The tension between security and freedom, and between community and individuality, is unlikely ever to be resolved. We cannot escape the dilemma but we can take stock of the opportunities and the dangers, and at least try to avoid repeating past errors. In this important new book, Zygmunt Bauman takes stock of these opportunities and dangers and, in his distinctive and brilliant fashion, offers a much-needed reappraisal of a concept that has become central to current debates about the nature and future of our societies.
´This text provides an excellent basis for engaging students with the issues surrounding both the idea of ´´community´´ in relation to social policy and the complex processes of policy formation and implementation with a ´´community´´ dimension. Essentially it offers a practical critique based on a combination of a clear, intellectual engagement and well developed illustration. A particular strength is the inclusion of material which gets beyond the immediate context of the UK and draws on examples from colonial and post-colonial practice in the management of ´´problem populations´´. The book will be of great value to both undergraduate students across the social sciences and to students undertaking professional programmes in social work, community work and related fields.´Professor David Byrne, School of Applied Social Sciences, University of Durham, UKThe concept of community is among the most contested of social science ideas. At the heart of this book is an examination of the concept´s unique ability to represent the notion of collective well-being and positive social relations and to denote a description or categorisation of social problems and ´problem populations´.This paradox makes the idea of community particularly valuable for understanding the diverse and complex ways in which social welfare and crime control policies affect each other.The chapters are organised to make sense of community in a range of ways: as a theoretical, political and populist discourse; as a vehicle for policy interventions; as an instrument of social governance and social ordering; and as a basis of collective action.The book considers community within historical and contemporary contexts, in the UK and internationally. It highlights many of the key social science debates as well as a diverse range of early 21st century policy agendas and social issues, such as social cohesion, community safety and anti-social behaviour.Each chapter highlights issues of evidence and the role that different forms of social data play in the analysis of ideas of community and communities.Community is a key text for students on social policy, sociology, criminology and general social sciences courses.Contributors: John Clarke, Allan Cochrane, Gordon Hughes, Gerry Mooney, Sarah Neal, Janet Newman, Sharon Pinkney and Esther Saraga.
Modern society is plagued by fragmentation. The various sectors of our communities businesses, schools, social service organizations, churches, government do not work together. They exist in their own worlds. As do so many individual citizens, who long for connection but end up marginalized, their gifts overlooked, their potential contributions lost. This disconnection and detachment makes it hard if not impossible to envision a common future and work towards it together.We know what healthy communities look like there are many success stories out there, and they´ve been described in detail. What Block provides in this inspiring new book is an exploration of the exact way community can emerge from fragmentation: How is community built? How does the transformation occur? What fundamental shifts are involved? He explores a way of thinking about our places that creates an opening for authentic communities to exist and details what each of us can do to make that happen.
Michael is involved in a car crash which kills his girlfriend. He wakes to find himself in the hospital of a small town in Montana. There he convalesces and gradually becomes acquainted with the local community, most of whom seem to be clever and charming, although some are arrogant and difficult to get on with. In particular he forms a relationship with a smart and pretty local girl. He learns that he has been in a coma for weeks and that his friend´s remains have already been sent back to California for cremation. He is about to leave and go back home when his new girlfriend disappears. He stays to investigate. (horror).
Computer technology has greatly enhanced the ability to communicate globally. This social change has given rise to new social forms, or rather, online communities. Computer technology has also exposed people to new public and private spaces in the virtual world of cyberspace. It was the task of this research study to employ the research methods of focus groups and interviews online to explore with participants ways in which they relate in online groups as a vehicle for analyzing how the technology of computer-mediated communication alters social boundaries, transforming social relations. Since literature on urbanism tends to correlate distrust and/or fear of ´´the other´´ with urban discord, the implication of this study is that computer-mediated communication could lead to an erosion of our urban distrust of ´´the other.´´ Research findings indicate that online social interaction is, in fact, transforming social relations and reshaping social boundaries by enabling people to participate more democratically in public discourse, by moving marginalized perspectives to the center, and by participants bringing new knowledge back into their temporal communities.