community

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community

1. 
a. the people living in one locality
b. the locality in which they live
c. (as modifier): community spirit
2. a group of nations having certain interests in common
3. (in Wales since 1974 and Scotland since 1975) the smallest unit of local government; a subdivision of a district
4. Ecology a group of interdependent plants and animals inhabiting the same region and interacting with each other through food and other relationships

Community

An interacting population of individuals living in a specific area with increased emphasis on sustainable building and sustainable development. Design and building-related practices enhancing and supporting community ideals and functions are considered more sustainable than those that do not, all else being equal.

community

Any set of social relationships operating within certain boundaries, locations or territories. The term (as used by both sociologists and geographers) has descriptive and prescriptive connotations in both popular and academic usage. It may refer to social relationships which take place within geographically defined areas or neighbourhoods, or to relationships which are not locally operative but exist at a more abstract, ideological level. For example, the term ‘lesbian community’ may refer to an actual settlement of women (e.g. ‘lesbian ghetto’, see E. Ettore, 1978), or it may refer to a collective of women sharing ideas and life styles, but not necessarily residing together in the same spatial area.

It has been suggested that the concept is one of the most difficult and controversial in modern society. Lowe (1986) suggests that it ‘ranks only with the notion of class in this respect’. It is certainly a term which has attracted many different interpretations and has been subjected to wide use and abuse.

In popular usage, the term has often been associated with positive connotations, as in the phrases ‘a sense of community’ or ‘community spirit’. It is clear that the term is not only descriptive, but also normative and ideological. Sociological discourse has often reinforced prescriptive usages of the term. Influenced by a tradition of 19th-century romanticism, some sociologists have regarded community as necessarily beneficial to human needs and social interaction. This tradition was particularly strong in the 19th century, but is by no means absent in 20th-century sociological thought.

In the 19th century, the German sociologist TÖNNIES drew a distinction between what he called GEMEINSCHAFT and GESELLSCHAFT. The former denoted community relationships which were characterized by their intimacy and durability: status was ascribed rather than achieved; and kin relationships took place within a shared territory and were made meaningful by a shared culture. Conversely, Gesellschaft gave rise to relationships which were impersonal, fleeting and contractual. Such relationships were both rational and calculative rather than affective: status was based on merit and was therefore achieved; and gesellschaftlich relationships were competitive and often characterized by anonymity and alienation. Tönnies believed that the processes of industrialization and urbanization would give rise to the destruction of gemeinschaftlich relationships and that gesellschaftlich relationships would consequently flourish. He was concerned by what he took to be the breakdown of traditional society, authority and the loss of community. In Tönnies’ work we can see the high value he implicitly placed on the old social order and his ambivalence towards industrialization and urbanization (compare SIMMEL). It is this romanticized view of traditional society’ that has given rise to the association of the concept of community’ with ideas of social support, intimacy and security Thus traditional communities have often been portrayed as close-knit and as facilitating cooperation and mutual aid between members. In contrast, the URBANIZATION process has been identified as destructive of both ‘community’ and communities. Research by Young and Willmott (1960) and Gans (1962) has, however, raised serious doubts about any such simple association between urbanization and ‘loss of community’.

Sociologists have usually been less concerned with categorizing and identifying the physical and geographical characteristics of communities than with examining the nature and quality of the social relationships sustained by them. Recent sociology has also been concerned with the analysis of community action and collective resistance to social problems (Castells, 1976).

Whatever the definitional difficulties, all communities, both real and symbolic, exist and operate within boundaries or territories. Boundaries serve to demarcate social membership from nonmembership. Communities may be seen to be inclusive of some people and social groups, but exclusive of others. In some cases, community boundaries are rigidly maintained (e.g. some religious communities), in others the boundaries are more fluid and open.

Worsley (1987) has suggested that, despite the difficulties involved in theorizing about ‘community’ and communities’, three broad meanings can be identified within sociological literature. The first he describes as ‘community as locality’. Here the interpretation of the term comes closest to its geographical meaning of a ‘human settlement within a fixed and bounded local territory’. Secondly, he suggests that ‘community’ has been used to denote a ‘network of interrelationships’ (Stacey, 1969). In this usage, community relationships can be characterized by conflict as well as by mutuality and reciprocity In the third usage, community can be seen to refer to a particular type of social relationship; one that possesses certain qualities. It infers the existence of a ‘community spirit’ or ‘community feeling’. This usage comes closest to a common-sense usage and does not necessarily imply the existence of a local geographical area or neighbourhood.

Community remains an important, if controversial, concept in sociology. See CHICAGO SCHOOL, COMMUNITY STUDIES, COMMUNITY CARE, COMMUNITARIANISM.

community

[kə′myü·nə·dē]
(ecology)
Aggregation of organisms characterized by a distinctive combination of two or more ecologically related species; an example is a deciduous forest. Also known as ecological community.

community

A group of people having common rights, privileges, or interests, or living in the same place under the same laws and regulations.
References in periodicals archive ?
Treating criminal psychopaths in a therapeutic community program.
What are the cognitive behavioral responses (beliefs, views, thoughts) of the clients in the therapeutic community? How has their thinking changed over time in the therapeutic community?
McKendrick, "Modified therapeutic community for homeless mentally ill chemical abusers: treatment outcomes," American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, vol.
Recently, ODRC conducted a comparative study of two prison-based therapeutic communities, the OASIS Program at Pickaway Correctional Institution in Orient, Ohio, and the Tapestry Therapeutic Community. It was determined that from 2006 to 2009, upon receiving judicial release from prison (with a one year post-release follow-up), Tapestry members recidivated at a rate of only 8.3 percent.
Because the Handbook is identified as such an important component of participation in the MWP therapeutic community program, it begs the question of whether or not Handbook material is readily absorbed and understood by program participants.
The treatment program comprises three therapeutic phases: reception, residential therapeutic community, and reinsertion.
Similarly the therapeutic community as treatment, also with precedents between the world wars, emerged fully around the same time.
The therapeutic community: An international perspective.
In the subsample from Andalucia, participants were divided by type of treatment (outpatient and therapeutic community).
Jordan House encourages participation in household activities in order to model independent living skills, to teach coping skills, and to simply recreate together, thus enhancing the therapeutic community. Residents regularly have art projects, do stress/relaxation exercises, cook meals together, clean the house, do gardening projects, and visit parks, the zoo, museums, and other places.
Background, history, empirical basis, the prototypical adolescent therapeutic community, and methodological, clinical, and policy issues with therapeutic communities are discussed in the chapter.
of Central Lancashire) re-examines the radical psychiatry and the patients' movement behind the libertarian therapeutic community (TC) at Paddington Day Hospital in the 1970s.

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