community development projects
community development projectslocal schemes devised with the intention of promoting COMMUNITY ACTION and community development (see COMMUNITY WORK). With the realization that postwar urban settlements were both actual and potential sites of social conflict, a number of radical community projects were developed in the 1950s. This concern with the INNER CITY continued in the 1960s, and in 1969 the Home Office supported 12 action-research projects in areas of high social deprivation. They were locally based, and had the aim of finding new ways of satisfying need through improvements in service coordination and through community participation and self-help. Most of the community development projects were critical of liberal and consensual views of community work, and developed a Marxist critique of the home and the neighbourhood as the means by which capitalist social relations are reproduced, and attempted to engage people through group mobilization, social surveys and legal redress. Although their analyses of the city are extremely valuable to sociologists, they have been criticized for ignoring the role of women in the community and in society.
Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000