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A community is a
social unit The term "level of analysis" is used in the social sciences to point to the location, size, or scale of a research target. "Level of analysis" is distinct from the term "unit of observation" in that the former refers to a more or less integrated s ...
(a group of living things) with commonality such as
place Place may refer to: Geography * Place (United States Census Bureau), defined as any concentration of population ** Census-designated place, a populated area lacking its own Municipality, municipal government * "Place", a type of street or road ...
, norms,
religion Religion is usually defined as a social- cultural system of designated behaviors and practices, morals, beliefs, worldviews, texts, sanctified places, prophecies, ethics, or religious organization, organizations, that generally relates hu ...
,
values In ethics and social sciences, value denotes the degree of importance of something or action, with the aim of determining which actions are best to do or what way is best to live (normative ethics in ethics), or to describe the significance of dif ...
,
customs Customs is an authority In the fields of sociology Sociology is a social science that focuses on society, human social behavior, patterns of Interpersonal ties, social relationships, social interaction, and aspects of culture associa ...
, or identity. Communities may share a sense of
place Place may refer to: Geography * Place (United States Census Bureau), defined as any concentration of population ** Census-designated place, a populated area lacking its own Municipality, municipal government * "Place", a type of street or road ...
situated in a given geographical area (e.g. a country,
village A village is a clustered human settlement or Residential community, community, larger than a hamlet (place), hamlet but smaller than a town (although the word is often used to describe both hamlets and smaller towns), with a population t ...
, town, or neighbourhood) or in virtual space through communication platforms. Durable good relations that extend beyond immediate genealogical ties also define a sense of community, important to their identity, practice, and roles in social
institution Institutions are humanly devised structures of rules and norms that shape and constrain individual behavior. All definitions of institutions generally entail that there is a level of persistence and continuity. Laws, rules, social conventions a ...
s such as family, home, work, government, society, or humanity at large. Although communities are usually small relative to personal social ties, "community" may also refer to large group affiliations such as national communities, international communities, and
virtual communities A virtual community is a social network of individuals who connect through specific social media, potentially crossing geographical and political boundaries in order to pursue mutual interests or goals. Some of the most pervasive virtual communi ...
. The English-language word "community" derives from the
Old French Old French (, , ; Modern French: ) was the language spoken in most of the northern half of France from approximately the 8th to the 14th centuries. Rather than a unified language, Old French was a linkage of Romance dialects, mutually intel ...
''comuneté'' (
Modern French French ( or ) is a Romance languages, Romance language of the Indo-European languages, Indo-European family. It descended from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire, as did all Romance languages. French evolved from Gallo-Romance, the Latin ...
: ''communauté''), which comes from the
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally a dialect spoken in the lower Tiber area (then known as Latium) around present-day Rome, but through ...
''
communitas ''Communitas'' is a Latin noun commonly referring either to an unstructured community in which person, people are equal, or to the very spirit of community. It also has special significance as a loanword in cultural anthropology and the social sci ...
'' "community", "public spirit" (from Latin ''
communis ''Communis'' may refer to: Anatomy * Anulus tendineus communis or annulus of Zinn, a ring of fibrous tissue surrounding the optic nerve * Carotis communis, the common carotid artery * Extensor digitorum communis, a muscle of the posterior forearm ...
'', "common").
Human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most abundant and widespread species of primate, characterized by bipedality, bipedalism and exceptional cognitive skills due to a large and complex Human brain, brain. This has enabled the development of ad ...
communities may have
intent Intentions are mental states in which the agent commits themselves to a course of action. Having the plan to visit the zoo tomorrow is an example of an intention. The action plan is the ''content'' of the intention while the commitment is the ''a ...
,
belief A belief is an Attitude (psychology), attitude that something is the case, or that some proposition is truth, true. In epistemology, philosophers use the term "belief" to refer to attitudes about the world which can be either truth value, true o ...
,
resources Resource refers to all the materials available in our environment which are Technology, technologically accessible, Economics, economically feasible and Culture, culturally Sustainability, sustainable and help us to satisfy our needs and wants. R ...
,
preference In psychology Psychology is the science, scientific study of mind and behavior. Psychology includes the study of consciousness, conscious and Unconscious mind, unconscious phenomena, including feelings and thoughts. It is an academic disc ...
s, needs, and
risk In simple terms, risk is the possibility of something bad happening. Risk involves uncertainty about the effects/implications of an activity with respect to something that humans value (such as health, well-being, wealth, property or the environme ...
s in common, affecting the identity of the participants and their degree of cohesiveness.


Perspectives of various disciplines


Archaeology

Archaeological studies of social communities use the term "community" in two ways, paralleling usage in other areas. The first is an informal definition of community as a place where people used to live. In this sense it is synonymous with the concept of an ancient settlement - whether a
hamlet ''The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark'', often shortened to ''Hamlet'' (), is a tragedy Tragedy (from the grc-gre, wiktionary:τραγῳδία, τραγῳδία, ''tragōidia'', ''tragōidia'') is a genre of drama based on human ...
,
village A village is a clustered human settlement or Residential community, community, larger than a hamlet (place), hamlet but smaller than a town (although the word is often used to describe both hamlets and smaller towns), with a population t ...
,
town A town is a human settlement In geography, statistics and archaeology, a settlement, locality or populated place is a community in which people live. The complexity of a settlement can range from a minuscule number of dwellings group ...
, or
city A city is a human settlement of notable size.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London: Routledge. It can be def ...
. The second meaning resembles the usage of the term in other
social sciences Social science is one of the branches of science, devoted to the study of society, societies and the Social relation, relationships among individuals within those societies. The term was formerly used to refer to the field of sociology, the o ...
: a community is a group of people living near one another who interact socially.
Social interaction A social relation or also described as a social interaction or social experience is the fundamental unit of analysis within the social sciences, and describes any voluntary or involuntary interpersonal relationship between two or more individuals ...
on a small scale can be difficult to identify with archaeological data. Most reconstructions of social communities by archaeologists rely on the principle that social interaction in the past was conditioned by physical distance. Therefore, a small village settlement likely constituted a social community and spatial subdivisions of cities and other large settlements may have formed communities. Archaeologists typically use similarities in
material culture Material culture is the aspect of social reality grounded in the objects and architecture Architecture is the art and technique of designing and building, as distinguished from the skills associated with construction. It is both the proces ...
—from house types to styles of pottery—to reconstruct communities in the past. This classification method relies on the assumption that people or households will share more similarities in the types and styles of their material goods with other members of a social community than they will with outsiders.


Sociology


Ecology

In
ecology Ecology () is the study of the relationships between living organisms, including humans, and their biophysical environment, physical environment. Ecology considers organisms at the individual, population, community (ecology), community, ecosy ...
, a community is an assemblage of populations - potentially of different species - interacting with one another. Community ecology is the branch of ecology that studies interactions between and among species. It considers how such interactions, along with interactions between species and the
abiotic In biology and ecology, abiotic components or abiotic factors are non-living chemical and Physical property, physical parts of the Natural environment, environment that affect living organisms and the functioning of ecosystems. Abiotic factors and ...
environment, affect social structure and species richness, diversity and patterns of abundance. Species interact in three ways:
competition Competition is a rivalry where two or more parties strive for a common goal which cannot be shared: where one's gain is the other's loss (an example of which is a zero-sum game). Competition can arise between entities such as organisms, ind ...
,
predation Predation is a biological interaction where one organism, the predator, kills and eats another organism, its prey. It is one of a family of common List of feeding behaviours, feeding behaviours that includes parasitism and micropredation (wh ...
and mutualism: * Competition typically results in a double negative—that is both species lose in the interaction. * Predation involves a win/lose situation, with one species winning. * Mutualism sees both species co-operating in some way, with both winning. The two main types of ecological communities are major communities, which are self-sustaining and self-regulating (such as a forest or a lake), and minor communities, which rely on other communities (like fungi decomposing a log) and are the building blocks of major communities.


Semantics

The concept of "community" often has a positive semantic connotation, exploited rhetorically by populist politicians and by advertisers to promote feelings and associations of mutual well-being, happiness and togetherness - veering towards an almost-achievable utopian community, in fact. In contrast, the epidemiological term "
community transmission In medicine Medicine is the science and Praxis (process), practice of caring for a patient, managing the diagnosis, prognosis, Preventive medicine, prevention, therapy, treatment, Palliative care, palliation of their injury or disease, and H ...
" can have negative implications; and instead of a "criminal community" one often speaks of a " criminal underworld" or of the "criminal fraternity".


Key concepts


''Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft''

In ''Gemeinschaft und Gesellschaft'' (1887), German sociologist Ferdinand Tönnies described two types of human association: ''Gemeinschaft'' (usually translated as "community") and ''Gesellschaft'' ("society" or "association"). Tönnies proposed the ''Gemeinschaft–Gesellschaft''
dichotomy A dichotomy is a partition of a set, partition of a whole (or a set) into two parts (subsets). In other words, this couple of parts must be * jointly exhaustive: everything must belong to one part or the other, and * mutually exclusive: nothing ...
as a way to think about social ties. No group is exclusively one or the other. ''Gemeinschaft'' stress personal
social interaction A social relation or also described as a social interaction or social experience is the fundamental unit of analysis within the social sciences, and describes any voluntary or involuntary interpersonal relationship between two or more individuals ...
s, and the roles, values, and beliefs based on such interactions. ''Gesellschaft'' stress indirect interactions, impersonal roles, formal values, and beliefs based on such interactions.


Sense of community

In a seminal 1986 study, McMillan and Chavis identify four elements of "sense of community": # membership: feeling of belonging or of sharing a sense of personal relatedness, # influence: mattering, making a difference to a group and of the group mattering to its members # reinforcement: integration and fulfillment of needs, # shared emotional connection. A "sense of community index" (SCI) was developed by Chavis and colleagues, and revised and adapted by others. Although originally designed to assess sense of community in neighborhoods, the index has been adapted for use in schools, the workplace, and a variety of types of communities. Studies conducted by the APPA indicate that young adults who feel a sense of belonging in a community, particularly small communities, develop fewer psychiatric and depressive disorders than those who do not have the feeling of love and belonging.


Socialization

The process of learning to adopt the
behavior Behavior (American English) or behaviour (British English) is the range of Action (philosophy), actions and mannerisms made by individuals, organisms, systems or Artificial Intelligence, artificial entities in some environment. These systems c ...
patterns of the community is called
socialization In sociology, socialization or socialisation (see American and British English spelling differences#-ise, -ize (-isation, -ization), spelling differences) is the process of Internalisation (sociology), internalizing the Norm (social), norms and ...
. The most fertile time of socialization is usually the early stages of life, during which
individual An individual is that which exists as a distinct entity An entity is something that exists as itself, as a subject or as an object, actually or potentially, concretely or abstractly, physically or not. It need not be of material existence. In ...
s develop the skills and knowledge and learn the
role A role (also rôle or social role) is a set of connected behaviors, rights, moral obligation, obligations, beliefs, and social norm, norms as conceptualized by people in a social situation. It is an expected or free or continuously changing behavi ...
s necessary to function within their
culture Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior, institutions, and Social norm, norms found in human Society, societies, as well as the knowledge, beliefs, arts, laws, Social norm, customs, capabilities, and habits of the ...
and
social environment The social environment, social context, sociocultural context or milieu refers to the immediate physical and social setting in which people live or in which something happens or develops. It includes the culture Culture () is an umbrell ...
.Newman, D. 2005
Chapter 5. "Building Identity: Socialization"
pp. 134–40.
For some psychologists, especially those in the
psychodynamic Psychodynamics, also known as psychodynamic psychology, in its broadest sense, is an approach to psychology Psychology is the science, scientific study of mind and behavior. Psychology includes the study of consciousness, conscious and U ...
tradition, the most important period of socialization is between the ages of one and ten. But socialization also includes adults moving into a significantly different environment where they must learn a new set of behaviors. Socialization is influenced primarily by the family, through which children first learn community norms. Other important influences include schools, peer groups, people, mass media, the
workplace A workplace is a location where someone Work (human activity), works, for their employer or themselves, a place of employment. Such a place can range from a Small office/home office, home office to a large office building or factory. For Indust ...
, and government. The degree to which the norms of a particular society or community are adopted determines one's willingness to engage with others. The norms of tolerance, reciprocity, and trust are important "habits of the heart", as de Tocqueville put it, in an individual's involvement in community.Smith, M. 2001
Community


Community development

Community development is often linked with community work or community planning, and may involve stakeholders, foundations, governments, or contracted entities including non-government organisations (NGOs), universities or government agencies to progress the social well-being of local, regional and, sometimes, national communities. More grassroots efforts, called
community building Community building is a field of practices directed toward the creation or enhancement of community among individuals within a regional area (such as a neighborhood) or with a common need or interest. It is often encompassed under the fields of c ...
or
community organizing Community organizing is a process where people who live in proximity to each other or share some common problem come together into an organization that acts in their shared self-interest. Unlike those who promote more-consensual community bui ...
, seek to empower individuals and groups of people by providing them with the skills they need to effect change in their own communities. These skills often assist in building political power through the formation of large social groups working for a common agenda. Community development practitioners must understand both how to work with individuals and how to affect communities' positions within the context of larger social institutions. Public administrators, in contrast, need to understand community development in the context of rural and urban development, housing and economic development, and community, organizational and business development. Formal accredited programs conducted by universities, as part of degree granting institutions, are often used to build a knowledge base to drive curricula in
public administration Public Administration (a form of governance) or Public Policy and Administration (an academic discipline) is the implementation of public policy, administration Administration may refer to: Management of organizations * Management, the a ...
,
sociology Sociology is a social science that focuses on society, human social behavior, patterns of Interpersonal ties, social relationships, social interaction, and aspects of culture associated with everyday life. It uses various methods of Empirical ...
and community studies. The General Social Survey from the
National Opinion Research Center NORC at the University of Chicago is one of the largest independent social research Social research is a research conducted by social scientists following a systematic plan. Social research methodologies can be classified as quantitative rese ...
at the
University of Chicago The University of Chicago (UChicago, Chicago, U of C, or UChi) is a private university, private research university in Chicago, Illinois. Its main campus is located in Chicago's Hyde Park, Chicago, Hyde Park neighborhood. The University of Chic ...
and the
Saguaro Seminar ''Better Together: Restoring the American Community'' is both a book and website published as an initiative of the Saguaro Seminar conducted at Harvard University Harvard University is a Private university, private Ivy League research un ...
at the
Harvard Kennedy School The Harvard Kennedy School (HKS), officially the John F. Kennedy School of Government, is the public policy school, school of public policy and government of Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The school offers master's degrees in p ...
are examples of national community development in the United States. The
Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs The Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs (Maxwell School) is the professional public policy school of Syracuse University, a Private university, private research university in Syracuse, New York. The school is organized in 11 academic ...
at Syracuse University in New York State offers core courses in community and economic development, and in areas ranging from non-profit development to US budgeting (federal to local, community funds). In the United Kingdom, the
University of Oxford The University of Oxford is a collegiate university, collegiate research university in Oxford, England. There is evidence of teaching as early as 1096, making it the oldest university in the English-speaking world and the List of oldest universit ...
has led in providing extensive research in the field through its '' Community Development Journal,'' used worldwide by sociologists and community development practitioners. At the intersection between community ''development'' and community ''building'' are a number of programs and organizations with community development tools. One example of this is the program of the Asset Based Community Development Institute of
Northwestern University Northwestern University is a private research university in Evanston, Illinois. Founded in 1851, Northwestern is the oldest chartered university in Illinois Illinois ( ) is a state in the Midwestern United States, Midwestern Unite ...
. The institute makes available downloadable tools to assess community assets and make connections between non-profit groups and other organizations that can help in community building. The Institute focuses on helping communities develop by "mobilizing neighborhood assets" – building from the inside out rather than the outside in. In the disability field, community building was prevalent in the 1980s and 1990s with roots in John McKnight's approaches.


Community building and organizing

In ''The Different Drum: Community-Making and Peace'' (1987) Scott Peck argues that the almost accidental sense of community that exists at times of crisis can be consciously built. Peck believes that conscious community building is a process of deliberate design based on the knowledge and application of certain rules. He states that this process goes through four stages: # Pseudocommunity: When people first come together, they try to be "nice" and present what they feel are their most personable and friendly characteristics. # Chaos: People move beyond the inauthenticity of pseudo-community and feel safe enough to present their "shadow" selves. # Emptiness: Moves beyond the attempts to fix, heal and convert of the chaos stage, when all people become capable of acknowledging their own woundedness and brokenness, common to human beings. # True community: Deep respect and true listening for the needs of the other people in this community. In 1991, Peck remarked that building a sense of community is easy but maintaining this sense of community is difficult in the modern world. The three basic types of community organizing are
grassroots A grassroots movement is one that uses the people in a given district, region or community as the basis for a political or economic movement. Grassroots movements and organizations use collective action from the local level to effect change at t ...
organizing,
coalition A coalition is a group formed when two or more people or groups temporarily work together to achieve a common goal. The term is most frequently used to denote a formation of power in political or economical spaces. Formation According to ''A Gui ...
building, and "institution-based community organizing", (also called "broad-based community organizing", an example of which is faith-based community organizing, or
Congregation-based Community Organizing Community organizing Community organizing is a process where people who live in proximity to each other or share some common problem come together into an organization that acts in their shared self-interest. Unlike those who promote more-co ...
). Community building can use a wide variety of practices, ranging from simple events (e.g.,
potluck A potluck is a communal gathering where each guest or group contributes a different, often homemade, dish of food to be shared. Other names for a "potluck" include: potluck dinner, pitch-in, shared lunch, spread, faith supper, carry-in dinner, ...
s, small
book clubs Book club may refer to: * Book discussion club, a group of people who meet to discuss a book or books that they have read ** Literature circle, a group of students who meet in a classroom to discuss a book or books that they have read * Book sales ...
) to larger-scale efforts (e.g., mass
festival A festival is an event ordinarily celebrated by a community and centering on some characteristic aspect or aspects of that community and its religion Religion is usually defined as a social- cultural system of designated behaviors and p ...
s,
construction Construction is a general term meaning the art and science to form Physical object, objects, systems, or organizations,"Construction" def. 1.a. 1.b. and 1.c. ''Oxford English Dictionary'' Second Edition on CD-ROM (v. 4.0) Oxford University Pr ...
projects that involve local participants rather than outside contractors). Community building that is geared toward citizen action is usually termed "community organizing".Walls, David (1994
"Power to the People: Thirty-five Years of Community Organizing"
From ''The Workbook'', Summer 1994, pp. 52–55. Retrieved on: June 22, 2008.
In these cases, organized community groups seek accountability from elected officials and increased direct representation within decision-making bodies. Where good-faith negotiations fail, these constituency-led organizations seek to pressure the decision-makers through a variety of means, including picketing,
boycott A boycott is an act of nonviolent resistance, nonviolent, voluntary abstention from a product, person, organization, or country as an expression of protest. It is usually for moral, society, social, politics, political, or Environmentalism, envir ...
ing, sit-ins, petitioning, and electoral politics. Community organizing can focus on more than just resolving specific issues. Organizing often means building a widely accessible power structure, often with the end goal of distributing power equally throughout the community. Community organizers generally seek to build groups that are open and democratic in governance. Such groups facilitate and encourage
consensus decision-making Consensus decision-making or consensus process (often abbreviated to ''consensus'') are group decision-making processes in which participants develop and decide on proposals with the aim, or requirement, of acceptance by all. The focus on es ...
with a focus on the general health of the community rather than a specific interest group. If communities are developed based on something they share in common, whether location or values, then one challenge for developing communities is how to incorporate individuality and differences. Rebekah Nathan suggests in her book, ''My Freshman Year'', we are drawn to developing communities totally based on sameness, despite stated commitments to diversity, such as those found on university websites.


Types of community

A number of ways to categorize types of community have been proposed. One such breakdown is as follows: # Location-based Communities: range from the local
neighbourhood A neighbourhood (British English British English (BrE, en-GB, or BE) is, according to Oxford Dictionaries, " English as used in Great Britain, as distinct from that used elsewhere". More narrowly, it can refer specifically to the En ...
,
suburb A suburb (more broadly suburban area) is an area within a metropolitan area, which may include Commercial area, commercial and mixed-use development, mixed-use, that is primarily a residential area. A suburb can exist either as part of a ...
,
village A village is a clustered human settlement or Residential community, community, larger than a hamlet (place), hamlet but smaller than a town (although the word is often used to describe both hamlets and smaller towns), with a population t ...
,
town A town is a human settlement In geography, statistics and archaeology, a settlement, locality or populated place is a community in which people live. The complexity of a settlement can range from a minuscule number of dwellings group ...
or
city A city is a human settlement of notable size.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London: Routledge. It can be def ...
, region, nation or even the planet as a whole. These are also called communities of place. # Identity-based Communities: range from the local clique, sub-culture,
ethnic group An ethnic group or an ethnicity is a grouping of people who identity (social science), identify with each other on the basis of shared attributes that distinguish them from other groups. Those attributes can include common sets of traditions, an ...
,
religious Religion is usually defined as a social system, social-cultural system of designated religious behaviour, behaviors and practices, morality, morals, beliefs, worldviews, religious text, texts, sacred site, sanctified places, prophecy, prophecie ...
,
multicultural The term multiculturalism has a range of meanings within the contexts of sociology, political philosophy, and colloquial use. In sociology and in everyday usage, it is a synonym for "Pluralism (political theory), ethnic pluralism", with the tw ...
or pluralistic
civilisation A civilization (or civilisation) is any complex society characterized by the development of State (polity), a state, social stratification, urban area, urbanization, and Symbol, symbolic systems of communication beyond natural language, natur ...
, or the
global Global means of or referring to a globe and may also refer to: Entertainment * Global (Paul van Dyk album), ''Global'' (Paul van Dyk album), 2003 * Global (Bunji Garlin album), ''Global'' (Bunji Garlin album), 2007 * Global (Humanoid album), ''Gl ...
community cultures of today. They may be included as ''communities of need'' or ''identity'', such as disabled persons, or frail aged people. # Organizationally-based Communities: range from communities organized informally around
family Family (from la, familia) is a Social group, group of people related either by consanguinity (by recognized birth) or Affinity (law), affinity (by marriage or other relationship). The purpose of the family is to maintain the well-being of its ...
or
network Network, networking and networked may refer to: Science and technology * Network theory Network theory is the study of Graph (discrete mathematics), graphs as a representation of either symmetric relations or directed graph, asymmetric relati ...
-based guilds and associations to more formal incorporated associations,
political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions in groups, or other forms of power relations among individuals, such as the distribution of resources or status. The branch of social science that stu ...
decision making In psychology Psychology is the science, scientific study of mind and behavior. Psychology includes the study of consciousness, conscious and Unconscious mind, unconscious phenomena, including feelings and thoughts. It is an academic dis ...
structures,
economic An economy is an area of the production, distribution and trade, as well as consumption of goods and services. In general, it is defined as a social domain that emphasize the practices, discourses, and material expressions associated with ...
enterprises, or professional associations at a small, national or international scale. The usual categorizations of community relations have a number of problems: (1) they tend to give the impression that a particular community can be defined as just this kind or another; (2) they tend to conflate modern and customary community relations; (3) they tend to take sociological categories such as ethnicity or race as given, forgetting that different ethnically defined persons live in different kinds of communities —grounded, interest-based, diasporic, etc. In response to these problems, Paul James and his colleagues have developed a
taxonomy Taxonomy is the practice and science of categorization or classification (general theory), classification. A taxonomy (or taxonomical classification) is a scheme of classification, especially a hierarchical classification, in which things are ...
that maps community relations, and recognizes that actual communities can be characterized by different kinds of relations at the same time: # Grounded community relations. This involves enduring attachment to particular places and particular people. It is the dominant form taken by customary and tribal communities. In these kinds of communities, the land is fundamental to identity. # Life-style community relations. This involves giving primacy to communities coming together around particular chosen ways of life, such as morally charged or interest-based relations or just living or working in the same location. Hence the following sub-forms: ## community-life as morally bounded, a form taken by many traditional faith-based communities. ## community-life as interest-based, including sporting, leisure-based and business communities which come together for regular moments of engagement. ## community-life as proximately-related, where neighbourhood or commonality of association forms a community of convenience, or a
community of place A community is a social unit The term "level of analysis" is used in the social sciences to point to the location, size, or scale of a research target. "Level of analysis" is distinct from the term "unit of observation" in that the former ref ...
(see below). # Projected community relations. This is where a community is self-consciously treated as an entity to be projected and re-created. It can be projected as through thin advertising slogan, for example
gated community A gated community (or walled community) is a form of residential community or housing estate containing strictly controlled entrances for pedestrians, bicycles, and automobiles, and often characterized by a closed perimeter of walls and fences. ...
, or can take the form of ongoing associations of people who seek political integration, communities of practice based on professional projects, associative communities which seek to enhance and support individual creativity, autonomy and mutuality. A
nation A nation is a community of people formed on the basis of a combination of shared features such as language, history, ethnicity, culture and/or society. A nation is thus the collective Identity (social science), identity of a group of people unde ...
is one of the largest forms of projected or imagined community. In these terms, communities can be nested and/or intersecting; one community can contain another—for example a location-based community may contain a number of ethnic communities. Both lists above can used in a cross-cutting matrix in relation to each other.


Internet communities

In general,
virtual communities A virtual community is a social network of individuals who connect through specific social media, potentially crossing geographical and political boundaries in order to pursue mutual interests or goals. Some of the most pervasive virtual communi ...
value knowledge and information as currency or social resource. What differentiates virtual communities from their physical counterparts is the extent and impact of "weak ties", which are the relationships acquaintances or strangers form to acquire information through online networks. Relationships among members in a
virtual community A virtual community is a social network of individuals who connect through specific social media, potentially crossing geographical and political boundaries in order to pursue mutual interests or goals. Some of the most pervasive virtual communi ...
tend to focus on information exchange about specific topics. A survey conducted by Pew Internet and The American Life Project in 2001 found those involved in entertainment, professional, and sports virtual-groups focused their activities on obtaining information. An epidemic of
bullying Bullying is the use of force, coercion, hurtful teasing or threat, to abuse, aggressively dominate or intimidate. The behavior is often repeated and habitual. One essential prerequisite is the perception (by the bully or by others) of an ...
and harassment has arisen from the exchange of information between strangers, especially among teenagers, in virtual communities. Despite attempts to implement anti-bullying policies, Sheri Bauman, professor of counselling at the University of Arizona, claims the "most effective strategies to prevent bullying" may cost companies revenue. Virtual Internet-mediated communities can interact with offline
real-life Real life is a phrase used originally in literature to distinguish between the real world and fictional, virtual or idealized worlds, and in acting Acting is an activity in which a story is told by means of its Enactment (psychology), enac ...
activity, potentially forming strong and tight-knit groups such as
QAnon QAnon ( , ) is an American political conspiracy theory and political movement. It originated in the Radical right (United States), American far-right political sphere in 2017. QAnon centers on fabricated claims made by an anonymous individual ...
.


See also

*
Circles of Sustainability Circles of Sustainability is a method for understanding and assessing sustainability Specific definitions of sustainability are difficult to agree on and have varied in the literature and over time. The concept of sustainability can be ...
*
Communitarianism Communitarianism is a philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the systematized study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about existence, reason, knowledge, values, mind, and language. Such questions are often posed as p ...
* Community theatre * Engaged theory * Outline of community *
Wikipedia community The Wikipedia community, collectively known colloquially as Wikipedians, is online community, an informal community that volunteers to create and maintain Wikipedia, an online encyclopedia. Since August 2012, the word "Wikipedian" has been an ...


Notes


References

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