Community and Everyday Life by Graham Day

By Graham Day

'Community' remains to be a chronic subject matter in political, philosophical and coverage debates. the belief of group poses primary questions about social inclusion and exclusion, specific as opposed to common pursuits, identification and belonging. in addition to broad theoretical literature within the social sciences, there's a wealthy physique of social study geared toward exploring the character of group, and comparing its contribution to people's lives and health. Drawing on a wealth of overseas empirical examples and illustrations, this publication studies debates surrounding the assumption of group. It examines altering styles of group existence and evaluates their value for society and for people. in addition to city, rural and class-based groups, it explores different modern types of group, reminiscent of social pursuits, communes and 'virtual' gatherings in our on-line world.

Truly multidisciplinary, this ebook might be of curiosity to scholars of sociology, geography, political technological know-how and social coverage and welfare. Grounded in a wide-ranging evaluation of empirical study, it offers an outline of sociological debates surrounding the belief of group and bearing on them to the half neighborhood performs in people's daily conceptions of identity.

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The authors claimed that the town could be thought of as a microscopic whole representing the total American community. Yet the same selective principle had been at work, since they deliberately sought out a place which had developed over a long period of time under the domination of ‘a single group with a coherent tradition’, and avoided areas of conflict and disorganization. Yankee City was also viewed as COMMUNITY STUDIES a working whole in which each part had definite functions which had to be performed or substitutes acquired if the whole society were to maintain itself.

Writing in 1982, Calhoun uses the nearby town of Haslingden as a representative example of such small outlying population centres. Whereas Manchester exploded from almost nothing into a world industrial centre during the nineteenth century, the population of Haslingden grew only from 4,040 in 1841 to some 16,000 in the 1980s. When Calhoun (1982) studied it, its inhabitants continued to be known by name, rather than anonymous address, and visiting strangers were a topic of general interest. There is a tradition, then, of singling out such small, integrated, local populations in order to trace their social characteristics and interactions.

References to ‘our’ community very often elide would-be descriptive/factual references with evocative, and normative, sentiments. This lends strength to what Cohen refers to as the ‘community romance’, the readiness to imagine community as the way in which society was bound together in ‘some golden age of unmediated exchange’ (Cohen 1997: 39). Cohen suggests that although community of this kind probably never actually existed in its pure form, nevertheless it represents a situation which, in a whole variety of ways, people strive to retrieve or recreate.

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