"Community - arianism" Community and Communitarianism: Concepts and contexts by Greg Smith, http://homepages.uel.ac.uk/G.

Smith/ This book is published on the Web by UK Communities Online http://www.communities.org.uk, which is for anyone interested in how the Internet can make a difference in their lives and their community, particularly through local electronic community networking. Contents • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Conditions of use Background information Outline of contents Preface Chapter 1 : Community; ideology and utopia Chapter 2 : Community involvement and community policy Chapter 3 : Community; some sociological perspectives Chapter 4 : Understanding neighbourhood communities Chapter 5 : Community studies; the ups and downs of a genre Chapter 6 : Community lost? Networks, neighbours and the social fabric Chapter 7 : Communities of identity Chapter 8 : Community connections in an information society Chapter 9 : The future of community; values and praxis Bibliography and Internet Resources Greg Smith's other publications

Dedication: for Marcus, Martha and Janeß Conditions of use Author: Greg Smith, writing as an employee of Aston Charities Community Involvement Unit Durning Hall London E7 9AB tel (44) 0181 519 2244 Email greg3@uel.ac.uk This manuscript appears on the web and may be downloaded subject to the following termsand conditions 1. The work is the property and copyright of the author Greg Smith. In any quotation or citation from the work the source must be acknowledged and credited to the author in the usual academic way. 2. The whole or part of the manuscript may be browsed, downloaded and a single copy printed for personal use only. 3. Electronic copies of the work may be forwarded or distributed as you wish, provided only that no charge is made. The work is made available in the following hopes: • That a publisher for a printed version of the book may be interested enough to make an offer to the author. (suggestions and contacts as to potential publishers will be much appreciated) • That readers will be interested enough to post reviews of the work and comments about issues raised by it in order to develop an ongoing interactive discussion, and to help the author in revisions to any later paper publication If you agree to these conditions please register your name and email address with mehere greg3@uel.ac.uk before commencing to download the text files

Background information Rationale This book aims to explore the concept of "community" and"communitarianism" from a variety of perspectives including those of classical sociological theory, the tradition of community studies, social network analysis, current debates on social policy and community development, in the context of the rapidly emerging in formation society and the crisis / end of modernity. In particular it will pick up on current debates around the concept of communitarianism, made popular on both sides of the Atlantic by Etzioni, and which is being taken up in sound-bites if not policy bypoliticians of Left and Right. The stance to be taken is broadly supportive of the communitarian vision but asks critical questions as to the possibility and modes of its implementation in the context of plural, fragmented urban society. Is it possible to"(re)build community" in the postmodern world where local neighbourhood belonging and identity is being replaced by individually selected identities which oftentranscend geography, and where the idea of a consensus of values is extremely problematic? The book is fundamentally a critical introduction to the concept of community ratherthan on the philosophy or politics of communitarianism. However it is the importance ofcommunitarianism in the late 1990's that make the book timely and relevant. Readership The main market would probably be undergraduate sociologists / social scientists /urban geographers, and community professionals (such as social workers, health visitors,planners, community workers, clergy etc.) especially during training or on postgraduate taught courses. Policy makers, local government officers and community activists would also find it valuable. Many of the issues covered would be of interest to an international readership, including North America and the Third World. Level: undergraduate in social sciences, professionals and postgraduates in associatedfields such as health and community work. also educated lay readership. Courses: The book could become a main text in courses for community professionals and community workers and a supplementary text for social science courses. Existing books: Bell & Newby (1970) is the classic text in Community Studies but was followed bythe virtual demise of the genre until Herbert & Davies (1993). This approaches community from the perspective of urban geographers and planners. Crow & Allen (1994)is perhaps the closest to the proposed book, but does not cover the impact of information technology on community. Rheingold (1994) concentrates entirely on this aspect. Wilmott(1989), Bulmer (1987) and Henderson et al. (199 ) cover the social policy angles on community in the British context. Etzioni's work on communitarianism is increasingly influential among policy makers and would be discussed and sympathetically critiqued in this volume. Background: The author has been involved in community work and social research in East London for twenty years. For the last four years he has held the post of Research Officer with Aston Community Involvement Unit, where his role is to undertake research of relevance to the voluntary sector locally and support community organisations in doing their own research. He is an honorary visiting research fellow at the University of East London, and a committee member of ARVAC (association for research in the voluntary and community sector). He has carried out various projects which raise questions about the concept of community in a (post)modern urban setting, and which address policy issues in community development, the voluntary sector and care in the community. The proposed book arose from the author's concern to set such research and

community involvement in an adequate theoretical framework, and to help colleagues grapple with some of the important underlying issues which shape the context of their work. It is based on his experience of research and practice and informed by an extensive reading of the relevant academic literature in the field. However there is no intention to cover in any detail the growing philosophical and political literature around the concept of communitarianism. Outline of contents Chapter One: Community; Ideology and Utopia The book begins by flagging up the notion of community as an important feature ofeverday life and some of the "commonsense" assumptions around the theme. I thenintroduce the theme of communitarianism and describe its emergence as a politicalprogramme in the 1990s. The chapter then begins to examine and question the various formsof ideological and utopian discourse around "community". A term which isuniversally accepted as a word with a warm glow it has been used to mask social injusticeas well as to inspire collective action for change. The key questions to be addressed inthe book and a guide to its structure are set out. Chapter Two: Community; policy and practice In this chapter the policies and practices of various institutions which carry thelabel "community" are examined and critiqued. e.g. community care, community health, community policing, community education, community development, community capacitybuilding, community enterprise, community organising, community action. The political andsocial trends which have led to a new emphasis on "community" ware described. How does communitarian thinking impinge on these policies and what are the hopes andlimitations of the movement?. Chapter Three: Community; towards a definition The huge range of definitions (Hillery's 94) can be categorised in a number of ways. The first split is between geographical neighbourhood definitions and sociological oneswhich stress common interest or networks of interaction. Communion or solidarityintroduces a distinct dimension, which can only be understood in the context of conflictand boundary marking processes. The classic sociological approaches of Tonnies(gemeinschaft, gesellschaft) are covered along with Schmalenbach's ideas of bund andcommunion. Reference is also made to Durkheim's notions of mechanical and organicsolidarity and anomie, and to Marx & Weber. Chapter Four: Neighbourhood communities and Community work Using the geographical notion of community this chapter covers ways of analysing thesocial life of localities. What makes a neighbourhood and how can we study them?Boundaries, central places, through routes, mental maps. Housing types, tenures and thetypes of local residents. Census data and urban ecology. Community facilities andservices, (schools, leisure centres, churches etc). Community and voluntary sector groups.Networking and mapping such local resources. Their role as mediating institutions betweenthe citizen and the state. Participation, its potential and its limits. Chapter Five: Community Studies; the ups and downs of a genre A brief critical review of early work (especially Chicago school) and the Britishtradition (Stacey / Frankenberg / Young & Wilmott / Bell & Newby). How far didthese studies capture the reality of working class life, including the role of women andfamily. Was community life economically determined, for example by shared employment andclass struggle in local industries? How and why this tradition was superseeded from themid 1970's by locality studies which majored on economic restructuring. The remergence ofcommunity studies in the 1990's

Can the new technologies. Is the nostalgic notion of community going to bemarketed in a range of virtual reality theme parks and museums? Chapter Nine: The future of community. As a middle way between the individualism of the freemarket ideology of the 1980s and the failed state collectivism of the Soviet Empire it hasmuch to recommend it.Chapter Six: Community lost. The political philosophy of communitarianism. or build new "communities withoutpropinquity". or will communitarianism simplybecome a nostalgic political slogan for both left and right? Or will the underlyingeconomic. technological and social trends bury the notion of local community for good? Ifpostmodernism's thesis of fragmentaion and pick and mix culture is correct.such as the Internet.by politicians of Left and Right. Is there any hope of such values becoming widely shared? Inthe light of these values and current social reality. religious orlifestyle communities. community practitioners and citizens take if they want to strengthen communities?The book will conclude with the autor's manifesto for community development. which may or may not be geographically segregated. Implications for the communitarian project. alternative identities Modern cities have a wide range of overlapping communities as a result of migration andmobility.. Networkanalysis Communitarians often assume or assert that the spirit of community needs to be rebuilt. How should weanalyse this diversity? How does ethnicity operate. ofWellman and associates in N. in the UK. Is it possible. Chapter Seven: Fragmented communities. madepopular on both sides of by Etzioni and the Communitarian Network in the USA. it seemsunlikely that there can be any basis for shared values and community life. or will they simply be channels for the dissemination of a globalculture based on Disney and McDonalds. community liberated. Review of a number of studies ofminority groups and neighbourhoods in UK and elsewhere. and by theDemos think tank in the UK is being taken up in sound-bites if not so clearly in policy. support local communities.Is it true that community spirit has died out or is this mere nostalgia? Are (post)modernpeople irretreviably privatised? Some key empirical studies are reviewed (includingreferences to the authors own work). Connections in aninformation society If local communities are fragmenting in the post modern world globalisation of theeconomy and information networks is also increasingly obvious. values. If modernitycontinues individualism and economic rationality run counter to the spirit of community. both electorally and in terms . Community can only be revived on the basis of age old values about human nature andresponsibility for neighbours. policy andpractice Do we really want or need "community"? Does it need to be local and face toface? Can community bring justice to the poor and marginalised? Does communitarianism (ala Etzioni) rest on solid ethical and sociological bases? What of citizen's / human rightsand responsibilities? Is it possible to rebuild community. People often find their first order identity solidarity in ethnic. or desirable tobuild broad based community in the midst of such pluralism? Chapter Eight: Virtual Community. Social anthropology introduces notions of networkanalysis.America. Wilmott etc. Bibliography Publications and Internet resources Preface As the twentieth century comes to a close a new political orthodoxy seems to beemerging on both sides of the Atlantic.. Are neighbourhood relations alive and well? Who dopeople turn to for support? The work of Abrams and Bulmer. what practical steps can policymakers.

and access to Census data. like others in the series is intended as an introductory text aimed atundergraduate sociologists / social scientists / urban geographers. local government officers and community activists wouldalso find it valuable. the tradition of community studies. The themes of "brother's keeper" and "who is myneighbour?" are as old as the Bible and are thoroughly covered in a century ofsociological literature. The book is fundamentally a critical introduction to theconcept of community rather than a guide to the philosophy and politics ofcommunitarianism. and thedialogue with it will be something of a love -hate relationship. The title is problematic. I make no claim to the status of Athanasius. Policy makers. The discussion is set in thecontext of the rapidly emerging global information society and the millenial sense ofcrisis which has been called by some "the end of history" but which can moremodestly be described as the collapse of modernity. The key attraction is in the warm glow of the word"community". locality. Various academic friends and colleagues have contributed ideas in informaldiscussions and correspondence over the years.ariansim".too about the emphasis on responsibilities and civic duties as opposed to rights. However it is the importance of communitarianism in the late1990's that make the book timely and relevant. I would like to thank my employers Aston Charities Trust for allowing be to set asidethe time needed for writing this book and for sponsoring much of the research on which itis based. Is there not a danger that"community" can be used ideologically as the emphasis on solidarity serves tomask the citizen's loss of liberty and reduced chances of equality? There are questions. It is informed by an extensive reading of the academic literature in the fieldof community studies. clergy etc. BobHolman. In the trinity ofvirtues of the French revolution the emphasis is placed neither on liberty nor equalitybut on "fraternity" or as we might translate it into less sexist language"solidarity". for it is a brave person who contests the desirability of a termwhich speaks of belonging. It should also be ofvalue to community professionals (such as social workers. As we shall see.) especially during initial training or on postgraduatetaught courses. Keith White.community workers.of local action. and to helpcolleagues grapple with some of the important underlying issues which shape the context oftheir work. I suggest one should hyphenate the titlethus "community . valuesdrawn from the historical and Biblical Christian tradition will be far from irrelevant tothe discussion. the voluntary sectorand care in the community. The book arose from the author's concern to set such appliedresearch and community involvement in an adequate theoretical framework. and one should not expect the conclusion of the study to be an authoritative credal orthodoxy setting a framework for belief and action for the next two millenia. andabout the possibility of common core values in the context of plural. Much ofthe original research referred to has only been possible because of the unpaid help ofvarious students on . andcurrent debates on social policy and community development. The book emerges from the author's experience of twenty years of community work andsocial research in an inner city part of London. and which address policy issues in community development. However there is no intention to cover in any great detail thegrowing philosophical and political literature around the concept of communitarianism. planners. Foremost among them are David Lyon. social harmony and co-operation. My response to communitarianism will be questioning and provisional. and hope that any theologically literate reader will spot a cheeky reference to an ancient Christian heresy! However. health visitors. However while it is easy to be broadly supportive of the communitarian vision itremains necessary to pose some critical questions. social network analysis. Is it possible to "(re)build community" in the postmodern world wherelocal neighbourhood belonging and class consciousness is being replaced by individuallyselected and flexible identities which often transcend geography? This book aims to explore the concept of "community" and"communitarianism" from a variety of perspectives including those of classicalsociological theory. The book. My links with the University of East London have beenimportant in providing library and computing resources. In that time I have worked on researchprojects which raise questions about the concept of community in a (post)modern urbansetting. fragmented urbansociety. and Ken Leech.

policy planners and managers. as well as the local volunteers who have helped as interviewers innumerous community surveys. where any word can mean what you want it to mean. Jane. Secondly there are value descriptions of community. and therefore needs to concentrate on descriptive definitions of the concept of community. useful to graffiti artists and slogan writers in politics. structures. Finally I need tothank my family. Descriptive definitions are typically those of social scientists giving an account (however abstract) of social forms. for example the communitarian claim that the essential nature of humankind is to be in social relationship with other human beings. and with the perspective of active community when dealing with . and the perspective is that of policy makers and representatives of state institutions in their need to work alongside voluntary and community sector organisations. which implies responsible and neighbourly behaviour as a moral imperative. Butcher et al's. It has a common ownership and is surrounded by "common-sense" assumptions. interactions or relationships which can be observed in the world as it is. politicians and ordinary people about the way people ought to relate to each other. but focuses on the notion of active community and the process of community development. philosophers.org.co. especially those who have responded toinnumerable questionnaires and interviews. Although the perspective of this book is that of social science. for it is a plastic word. Marcus and Martha. Right. For social scientists. the media and the professions. a word with multiple meanings. Everyone uses the word. ideology and utopia • • • • • • • • Meanings of community Common themes in the discourse about community The context of Communitarianism The Communitarian platform Community.uk/greg/gsum. Definitions of community according to Butcher et. I also wish to thank the people of Newham. particularly in the discussion of communitarianism. and among whom I have lived and worked for somany years. third grouping is perhaps less clear and sustainable.html Chapter One: Community. al (1993) can be grouped into three types. it will inevitably need to deal with value positions. The definition is also contested at the applied level in that the definition or boundaries of particular "communities" are often the focus of conflict in the world of politics and social life. These are often normative or ideological propositions. insituations ranging from the emotional stress of a child's illness to the practical task'sof feeding Judy Rabbit and Winnie Guinea Pig when we are on holiday. These pages prepared by David Wilcox dwilcox@pavilion. and for anyone who seeks to be a responsible and thoughtful member of society. Left and Centre Structure of the book Key books for Chapter One Return to contents page Meanings of community Community is a common concept. not forgetting Hannah from next door who have ina special way introduced me to new dimensions of the concept and practice of community. which might be better described as three perspectives on community.communities.placement from the university and also from the London HospitalMedical College. Therein lies the danger. and most people seem to like the idea. the discourse of community warrants closer scrutiny. In particular I owe a debt of gratitude to the network of neighbours in ClaudeRoad and the Christian community in the neighbourhood which supports our family life.uk September 18 1996 http://www. statements from philosophers. It is a spray can word. It is also a contested concept in that it is used ideologically with different connotations by people with contrasting underlying philosophies. fresh out of Wonderland. The focus here is on participation in the networks and interactions of civil society.

those that focused on social interaction and those that highlighted feelings of belonging and solidarity. This is a particular problem when white academics or politicians seek to define the boundaries of "the black" or other ethnic minority communities. Secondly the reification of communities can lead to "turf wars" over the allocation of resources. As we shall see later in our discussions of ethnicity and social network analysis the reality is often more flexible and ambiguous still. However. which it is necessary to consider. its enthusiastic adoption by the wider public operates as a feedback loop into society itself. and deal with "community leaders" whom they choose or who are self appointed. and give a sense of reality to specific communities. where sociologists cannot supply a single clear definition. be it at the borough boundary. There is in this view little doubt about where the community begins or ends. the term shaping and being re-shaped by social reality. for example where a facility is provided to serve the needs of a single . or at a physical boundary such as a canal or railway line. and to detect differences between definitions based on rural and urban experience. Common themes in the discourse about community Although the term community arises from sociology. or even to catalogue and criticise the definitions in the literature. openness and closure. It is to be hoped that by bringing greater clarity to the description of community the philosophical and policy debates will be better grounded than they often have been. There are. There is an inbuilt assumption that the drawing of boundaries is both possible and desirable. with changing patterns of conflict and collaboration. It may be far more helpful to see community as a process. As long ago as 1955 George Hillery listed some 94 definitions of community he had found in the social science literature. As Cohen (op cit. although in fact they are merely mental or social constructs of insiders and outsiders. therefore a number of common themes or connotations in the language of community in everyday speech. It would be unwise therefore at the start of this book to add yet another definition of our own to the surfeit already available. By this we mean that most people talk as if there is a real entity corresponding to the label "the community". It is possible to do this from a variety of angles. The first theme in everyday speech is the reification of the notion of community. Sometimes these boundaries are to be drawn on the map. For a taste of what is on offer the reader is referred to the anthology compiled by Pereira (1993). belonging and exclusion. Both Plant and Cohen note that philosophers since Wittgenstein moved from providing us with normative definitions of concepts to describing and exploring the way in which terms are used. in other cases they are categories of people or characteristics of members. for example Raymond Plant's essay (1974) on community and ideology in the context of the politics and practice of community development contrasts with the anthropological approach to the symbolic construction of community developed and illustrated by Cohen (1985). identity. Plant advises against attempts such as Hillery's to pin the notion down empirically. It was possible to arrange them in groupings such as those that were closely related to neighbourhood or territory. but to recognize that value judgements and ideologies are implicit in every use of the word. free action and structural constraint. and concluded that the only thing they all held in common was a reference to people. Even in cases where representation is based on widely participatory democratic elections the possibility of speaking on behalf of a whole community is questionable. or at a social boundary as for example in the case of ethnic communities or the "gay community". (and the diversity would be even greater today among those who have not totally discarded the term) the range of usage by ordinary speakers of the English language is even wider.issues of policy and community development. The first is that of representation in that one person or a small elite are taken to speak for the community as a whole.) suggests boundary marking processes and rituals are a vital tool for defining community. Yet out of this reification fallacy a number of political consequences flow. As such the word itself is an important piece of sociological data.

electoral ward, or where a grant is given to an organization serving only one religious or ethnic community. A second common feature of talk about community is that it is often seen as a small scale collectivity, occupying the semantic space between household or family and city or nation. In sociology it falls in the middle of the continuum between small or primary group and society as a whole. However as Scherer (1972 p34-35) points out "the concept of community (in contrast to group) implies inherently the intention of longevity and permanence" There are, inevitably a few exceptional usages such as the "community of nations" or the "world community". Generally, however, a community is small and specific enough to evoke a sense of identity and personal belonging, a sense that one is part of a meaningful web of face to face relationships. This sense of the word is especially potent in a world where markets for consumer products are global, and where the penetration of the mass media ensures a universally shared diet of news and popular culture. Thirdly community is almost always portrayed as morally good. It elevates the speaker to the moral high ground, and as a "purr" word or "motherhood" concept produces a warm glow in the listener. (Donnison 1993). That the concept is "sacred" and beyond contradiction resonates with the etymologically linked concept of "communion" in the Christian tradition. In the Mass, Eucharist or Lord's Supper the breaking of bread symbolizes a mystic union of the believer with Christ, and the sharing of a meal at a common table speaks of a united fellowship that transcends social divisions on earth and even includes the "communion of saints" in the world to come. The metaphor of the body of Christ, applied both to the communion bread and to the church as company of believers, speaks of community as an organism. The Islamic tradition of the "ummah" and the Sikh brotherhood of the "khalsa" carry some similar connotations, although the frequent association of "caste" with communal conflict and discrimination has placed Hindu notions of community in an unfavourable light. Despite occasional critiques by radical individualists, including those writers within the Christian church (Norman, 1995), even among unbelievers the organic life motif remains important in discussions of community. Community is a living breathing and self sustaining being. To destroy it would be tantamount to taking life. The metaphor of organism leads to the portrayal of community as intrinsically and normatively harmonious. Community is seen as a unifying entity in which men and women, old and young, black and white, rich and poor have a common purpose and unproblematic relationship. Power differentials and conflicts of interest are set aside, or more likely covered over. The marginalisation, exclusion or persecution of minorities, or of individuals who are considered "abnormal" through disability, mental illness or eccentricity is ignored. The coercive nature of communities, where mechanisms of social control ensure a grudging compliance with cultural norms is rarely admitted. A final inescapable connotation of the concept of "community" is the aura of nostalgia. Even though nostalgia "ain't what it used to be", people look back to images and stories of a golden age, when everybody helped each other, and when front doors were left open without fear of crime. In Britain a common variant is the image of the terraced streets of Northern mill towns and mining villages, in the USA the urban equivalent often has an ethnic dimension, such as Chicago's Italian quarter or New York's Jewish ghetto. On both sides of the Atlantic rural images are also common, Merrie England or Hardy's Wessex, alongside the Pilgrims in Massachussets or communal barn-raisings. In a mass media culture where these nostalgic images are common place, and where history and the natural world are often packaged by theme parks and museums as consumer products, the longing for escape to another lifestyle is widespread. As increasing numbers of people relocate to find their rural tranquillity, or historic urban neighbourhood, the very process of gentrification tends to transform the traditional modes of community into something more transitory and fragmented. The common connotations of community sit alongside a rich diversity of applications of the term. At one end of the spectrum are types of community that are clearly intentional. People join of

their own free will and covenant themselves to an intense life together, for example in a monastic order or hippy commune. At the other extreme on this dimension are communities of limited liability (Janowitz 1967), neighbourhoods where the threads of common life rarely extend beyond using the same post box or paying local taxes for the municipal refuse collection service. Rather more common are neighbourhoods or localities, which for a sizeable proportion of the residents do provide functions of loyalty, belonging and identity, a locale in which the delivery of consumer services takes place and in which significant networks of social relationships are made and maintained. Willmott (1989) speaks of these as communities of attachment and documents research which shows the types of people and neighbourhood where localism rather than dispersed community is more likely to be the norm. Population stability, local employment, isolation, homogeneity, high proportions of young families and active community organisations maintained by educated middle class residents are likely to strengthen local attachments. The term is also applied to non-residential communities, focussed on a school or work-place, best described as institutional or organisational communities. A further variation is community based on a social club or sports group, on a religious meeting place or an ethnic minority group. Loosely these can be called communities of interest, in the sense that members find some topic interesting and organise around it. There are also communities of interest in the stronger sense, which often only emerge as a result of an outside threat to territory or property (e.g.. Neighbourhood against the Motorway). In the absence of an external threat many communities of interest would remain latent unless pro-actively organized. For example women victims of domestic violence, or disabled people and their carers or homeworkers in the garment industry would find privatised isolation a more common experience than organised networks of solidarity. The context of Communitarianism It is out of this sea of meanings plus a specific political context that communitarianism as a popular idea is born. In very broad brush terms the Western world in recent decades has seen large pendulum swings in the field of social policy. The 1960s and early 1970s was the era of radical liberalism, of anti-war protest of the Civil Rights movement and of Lyndon Johnson's war on poverty. In the U.K. similar trends could also be observed, if in a minor key, as the Welfare State flourished and urban renewal and community development was sponsored by the state. Global economic restructuring, triggered by the oil crises of the 1970s, coupled with the emerging hegemony of New Right economic and political ideas made the 1980s the decade of the free market, and the rolling back of the "nanny" state. In the USA it was the decade of Reaganomics and Star Wars, while on this side of the Atlantic Margaret Thatcher led nationalist rejoicing at the recapture of a distant island colony, subdued the "enemy within" after the year long miners' strike and declared that "there is no such thing as society". The intellectual underpinnings of these policies were found in the work of "New Right" academics and Think Tanks such as the Institute of Economic Affairs and the Adam Smith Institute. Their philosophy was one which saw men (sic.) as individuals making rational choices according to the economic laws of the market place, and which had little place for government regulation or moral constraints. (Frazer & Lacey, 1993). Throughout the western world the rich got richer, and the poor struggled to survive as welfare provision was cut and inequality grew. By the end of the decade the Berlin wall had fallen and the Soviet Empire had dissolved, and petty nationalisms were on the march across Europe. Capitalism, it was alledged, had won. For the Left at this point there were two key problems. First the hegemony of the Right and the irreversible changes of economic restructuring and global competition, meant that traditional welfarist policies and state ownership could no longer be expected to deliver economic growth or political power. Secondly the collapse of communism ensured that no version of Marxist ideology, however democratic and contemporary, was likely to be taken seriously by the electorates of Europe, still less in North America where socialism had never taken root. For the Right the triumph was short-lived. A sharp recession set in the early 1990s and it became clear that unregulated market forces had some dysfunctional effects. Instead of wealth trickling down to

the poor, inequalities widened, and social polarization was evident, with the risk of uprisings especially by unemployed youth in ethnically divided cities. The global scale of economic forces meant that national governments seemed out of control, while some localities, even whole regions were in inexorable economic decline. Statistics for violent crime and drug misuse were rising and repressive law enforcement measures were proving ineffective. Despite commitments to public expenditure cuts, budgets for social and national security continued to rise. And despite the emphasis on deregulation and subsidiarity, the philosophy that decisions should be taken at the most local level possible, there was clear evidence of growing bureaucracy and of a centralization of power at the national and supra-national level. The Communitarian platform The time was right for some new ideas in politics and it was around Amitai Etzioni and his colleagues in the Communitarian Network based in Washington DC that the movement came together and drew up a manifesto, the Communitarian Platform. Etzioni is a keen publicist, writing in popular as well as academic journals, speaking in public and on the mass media, as well as ensuring that the communitarian documents were available electronically on the Internet. (Etzioni 1994). The ideas were introduced to the U.K. by the slightly Left of Centre think tank Demos who sponsored a London lecture by Etzioni in the spring of 1995, which received full coverage in the Times (Etzioni 1995) and published other titles such as Atkinson's "The Common Sense of Community" (1994). In the UK there has been one attempt to replicate the Communitarian Network in the USA, as yet without much impact by Henry Tam (1995). More significantly, many key principles have been endorsed by the Labour Party's new leader Tony Blair and his colleague Jack Straw (Times 8/11/95) and have been more radically expressed by Boswell (1995). For the Liberal Democrats in Britain the communitarian emphasis in politics was already familiar. But surprisingly, these ideas also found favour in certain sections of the Conservative Party, for example in Green's attempt to supersede the individualism of the 1980's by a welfare regime based on a "reinvented civil society" (1993). In the USA likewise they have been received with interest in both Democratic and Republican circles, and are clearly influential in the policies of the Clinton administration. However it would be wrong to suggest that all the ideas of communitarianism are completely new; as Etzioni himself write they are as old as the Old Testament. Ed Schwarz (1991 WWW) traces some of the debates back to Plato and Aristotle claiming the latter as a protocommunitarian, as well as citing St. Augustine and Toqueville. Plant (1974) traces the development of communitarian thinking in the German and British philosophers and sociologists of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, mentioning for example Hegel, Marx, Tonnies, Carlyle, Arnold, Ruskin, Eliot, Leavis and Lawrence. Plant's book is particularly useful in focussing the philosophical issues in the area of community work, albeit a style of community work that now seems rather dated. In more modern political philosophy references to Macintrye's "After Virtue" (1981) often feature in the literature along with Sandel (1982) and Bell (1993), although it should be pointed out that Macintyre explicitly denies being a communitarian. The debate between liberalism and communitarianism is extensively covered from a sympathetically critical feminist perspective in Frazer & Lacey (1993). It would also be misleading to attribute the impact of communitarianism to Etzioni and his group alone. A number of similar streams of thought and policy development are observable on both sides of the Atlantic. In Philadelphia the Institute for Civic Values headed by Ed Schwarz is developing thought and practice in community development in Urban Renewal, and as an Internet mailing list and Web page which is far more active than the Communitarian Network in Washington. There are also some interesting links to be made with the debate about "Asian values", which has been triggered recently by the evident economic growth in Asia, and the introduction of "Japanese work practices" into Western industry. It has been argued by Dr. Matathir, the prime minister of Malaysia (in a BBC TV interview with Julian Pettifer broadcast on 18.11.95) that the traditional communitarian values of Asia are superior to the individualism of

(personal communication 1995). they mount a critique of over zealous legislation for individual civil rights. The questions. (Tam. Communitarianism seeks to promote a healthy balance of rights and responsibilities and to suggest that the state and the citizen have mutual obligations. and caught. in the call for integrity and honesty among politicians and public servants and in generalized concern for social justice. endorsed by a large number of a academics and politicians (available as the appendix to Etzioni 1994) appears to be the foundation statement of the movement. get involved in local organizations. Civic participation is seen as essential for a healthy democratic society. Can the Asian achievement be sustained without political repression. the essence of community must be local residents. Although Etzioni denies that he is majoritarian. and does it actually work or are Asian societies also suffering the anomie so easily recognized in the West. HIV/AIDS and family break up?. They are presented below together with an initial critique and setting of questions which will be the focus of more considered evaluation in the final chapter.the West in producing team-work. than in the UK. The work of the Jubilee Centre on the importance of sound relationships in family and community life is another Christian initiative which ventures into similar territory (Schluter &. A radical Christian Socialist version of communitarianism centred on themes of equality and mutuality is represented by the life and writings of Bob Holman (1993). A similar British charter statement is the Citizens Agenda. and . There is therefore a strong emphasis on education for citizenship. Following the Faith in the City Report (ACUPA 1985). if we want the protection of the courts we should be willing to give our time to serve on juries when required. apple pie and the American way of life!). Naturally this issue is more salient in the USA with its written constitution cast in Enlightenment thinking about the rights of man.. In the USA where the tradition of separation of church and state has traditionally kept religion out of the education system and where prayer in schools is a keynote issue for the religious Right.. . become school governors and take responsibility for their community instead of just blaming the government or the Council. motherhood. In Britain too there are a number of well established streams of independent communitarian thought and action. lobby their elected representatives. or pursuing litigation over violation of personal rights. the issue of moral education has particular salience.. and points out the irony that "since the London Think Tanks have discovered community. as they too are affected by drug abuse.. (One is tempted to add. What then are the key ideas in the Communitarian Platform? A document with this title. 1995). in schools from a very early age. In the American context these centre on personal responsibility. who are far removed from the hard end. Communitarians do not wish to impose their values or policies on others. democracy. in thousands of neighbourhood projects and in the social interventions of the major churches. attempts have been made to develop a theology of community work (British Council of Churches 1989). which were voiced by Pettifer remain important. For example says Etzioni. and well ordered societies all of which promote economic prosperity. and a wish to identify shared core values which can be taught. sacrificial commitment to the common good. citizens should vote. Lee 1993). The key ideas centre around the relationship between citizens the wider society and the state. Holman critiques the top down think tank approach in social policy development. policy ideas about the community are voiced by unrepresentative intellectuals. in local government.. Etzioni makes much of this notion of underlying common core values which are (to be) shared by everyone within the national polity. taking control over services and suggesting policies for society". and respect for the constitution. in the insistence on democratic persuasion and freedom of speech. The whole project of community development launched in the 1960's remains significant in some parts of academia. This emerges in several areas. Underlying the communitarian platform is a strong concern for values and morality. but they are zealous to convince others in the battle for hearts and minds. There is a moral tone too. run for office. Since they see the pendulum to have swung too far in the direction of rights rather than responsibilities.

The assertion that children benefit from growing up in a secure and stable family environment where there are two caring parents who have a quantity of quality time to spend with their offspring is unlikely to be controversial to the majority of people in Middle America or Middle England. Can "fundamentalist" Islamic or Christian groups. Secondly feminists would argue that the traditional family is inevitably a setting for the oppression of women. Generally they would be in favour of more pro-active police measures. In public health they would argue that known carriers of disease. However three objections still need to be answered and worked out in policy proposals that enhance families without oppressing women. let alone equal economic. New Age travellers. With a normative view of mainstream values and harmonious and homogeneous local communities. or breathalyser tests to detect drunken drivers and would argue against the civil liberties lobby that such minor inconveniences for the law abiding citizen. but the working out of these principles appear to be sketchy. in lone parent families. On the other hand they would want to ensure that people with HIV/AIDS are not discriminated against in terms of housing or employment. children and granny living round the corner. After all it is still a lifestyle that many people aspire to. especially about young single mothers with absent fathers. Family life in Western society no longer conforms to the norm of Dad. Communitarians claim to have a concern for social justice including minority rights. The family values he advocates are not those of the conservative Christian right and the domestic oppression of women. Communitarians are anxious to address this issue and work for legislation to restrict firearms. and the risk of abuse of power are a price worth paying for public safety. Rising crime statistics across the Western world seem to produce a disproportionate sense of panic. it is hard to see how groups with marginal or divergent value systems can be given space to participate in the "community of communities" which is national life. 2. Etzioni has expressed his sadness at what he sees as the hostile misinterpretation of his ideas by some feminists. Thirdly. or homeless street dwellers be given equal human dignity. We may bemoan rising divorce rates and family breakdown. such as those who are HIV positive. and to change the moral climate. to mobilize local communities against drug dealers. or moral revival that can turn back the clock. there is an obvious problem in a diverse and plural society. But in some North American inner cities violent crime linked with drug trafficking results in a situation where young men are more likely to be murdered than survive into old age. especially when set against other contemporary documents such as the Borrie commission report on social justice (Borrie 1994). Other concerns of the communitarian movement include community safety and public health. even survive. Mum. and most mothers go out to work at least part time. In contrast alternative forms of family life and child rearing may have liberating potential. but support the notion of serious responsibility in parenting equally shared between father and mother. political and social rights? It is in the area of family values that the moral tone of communitarianism is most evident. and despite all the qualifications made by Etzioni (1994) it is here that controversy has been sharpest as many feminists and others on the left have made a knee jerk reaction to such terms as "the parenting deficit". have a responsibility to disclose their condition and to take precautions to prevent transmission. and many couples with small children stand in awe and amazement that single parents. Increasing proportions of people live alone. other religious sectarian groups. and that domestic violence needs to be addressed politically and culturally rather than treated as a private matter. that unpaid domestic and caring labour is exploitation. and would probably advocate a programme of voluntary screening for those in high risk groups. In particular there appears to be little discussion of the economic aspects of social justice. especially those on a low income and without strong extended family or friendship networks.4. is based not so much on concern for their welfare as on the imperative to reduce taxes by cutting back on welfare payments. the poverty lobby would be suspicious that the moral panic about single parents.claims to accept pluralism. and the Communitarian Platform is almost devoid of any reference to economic policy and the just . as gay or lesbian couples and in extended families or shared households. favouring random stop and search. but there is no simple policy.

However there might be a more radical challenge to be met on key issues such as the global limits to economic growth. and depletion of the ozone layer which may bring climate change and starvation to the people of Africa. and some recognition that vulnerable local communities might be helped out by more affluent ones on a one to one relationship basis. As a result of widely available new medical skills. Furthermore there seems to be little recognition of the global nature of economic forces. An example often quoted by Etzioni is the training programme in first aid for a large proportion of the citizens of Seattle. It is possible that communitarians in the UK with our stronger socialist tradition. The communitarians also make some well meaning noises on environmental issues and ecology. resuscitation and survival rates of heart attack patients in that city have improved beyond recognition. As a relatively new school of thought. where they settle in model communities of mutual responsibility. However the focus on the local seems to limit the action to the citizen's responsibility not to drop litter and the city's responsibility to provide recycling banks. or rather a network for discussion. although it should be pointed out that these are often the result of previous community work. Only if it is beyond the local group should responsibility be passed up to city. One can only argue about priorities. or a culture where community spirit is already important. One waits for discussion of the pollution caused by motorways for commuters from suburban communities who bring breathing difficulties to fellow citizens in inner city neighbourhoods. state or federal government. although the work still remains to be done. communitarianism can be forgiven for not having all the answers. a school or church take responsibility. At the local level there have been some real achievements. . it is at this point of inequality between localities that the communitarian position is at its weakest. Etzioni's picture of a nation or even the world as a pluralist "community of communities" does not seem adequate to deal with the complex conflicts.distribution of resources. No social task should be assigned to an institution that is larger than necessary to do the job. The discussion of communitarianism set out above has been critical. and greater open-ness to Marxist ideas may give issues of social justice greater prominence. relevance. resulting from the current hostility in the USA to the affirmative action legislation introduced in the 1970s. Only when an individual and family cannot do something should a local group. a doctrine originating in Catholic Social teaching. interconnections and interdependencies of the contemporary world. rather than of communitarianism as a philosophy. or the adoption of its manifesto. Communitarianism also places an emphasis on the notion of subsidiarity. as the philosophy of small is beautiful already seems implicit in Etzioni. Such initiatives at the community level are self-evidently a good thing. A green critique of communitarianism might have much to offer by way of refinement. and appropriated in recent years to defend perceived national interests in arguments within the European Union. One suspects that the American antipathy to anything other than free enterprise prevents any serious analysis of the causes of and remedies for poverty. empowerment and participation that have proved beneficial in neighbourhoods across the world. it is not so clear in communitarianism that no city or country is an island either. One waits for example to see a communitarian analysis of the global pressures which bring economic migrants to the cities of Europe. While for communitarians there is an empowering role for the higher levels of government. style and cost effectiveness of individual schemes. Certainly redistribution of wealth through tax and welfare policies is not on their agenda. While it is recognized that no person is an island and that at the personal level we are responsible for each other. One suspects a similar fudge over minority rights. and perhaps too harsh. There are many attractive ideas which appeal to people across the political spectrum. and there are thousands of other examples of community development. There is little trace in the document of a serious grappling with class analysis. and the way that local communities may be devastated by fluctuations on a futures market on the other side of the world.

and the tax payer can save money in a politically acceptable way. Public expenditure restraint and in particular welfare cutbacks have been high on the Right's agenda. They have set up schemes to "involve the community and the voluntary sector" in partnerships for urban regeneration and social welfare. The British coal strike of 1984 was seen in many quarters as an attack by the state and capital on the traditional mining "communities" (Gemeinschaft . Green activists. utopian collective life. drug pushers and criminals. Left and Centre With the notion of community so universally praised. They have often spoken of moral responsibility and family values. or exploitative big business. From the medieval Franciscans. Elements in the communitarian platform are easily coopted for these purposes. rather than those of local residents or democratically elected local authorities. it is still obvious that governments of the Right have used "community" ideologically to soften welfare budget reductions. Right wing politicians have made populist statements coded in communitarian terms. provoked massive unrest and non payment. They are perhaps especially attractive to the new social movements of our times. and the absence of concern for economic justice is very convenient. Community or neighbourhood resistance to major planning decisions about the siting of new roads or industrial plants is often self organizing. capital. Right. the state. David Lyon pointed out some years ago (1984) some of the ways in which the term community was used in both ideological and utopian ways. while in many cases leading personal lives not marked by financial probity and sexual fidelity. The solidarity and support networks it generated in the coalfields was portrayed by many as a triumph for community development. sic!). but is frequently supported by left wing politicians. and in practice onto unpaid family members. More strategically Leftist Labour Councils in Britain in the earlier 1980s consciously used community development strategies and funding for radical and minority community groups in an attempt to further equal opportunities practice. Lyon (op cit. Many of these streams coalesced for example in the women's peace camp at . and therefore needs to be discussed in a spirit of (de)constructive critique. But it is also useful beyond the confines of the Right/Left divide to underpin the attempt to build almost any type of alternative. and ideological suspicion. to new religious movements. feminist collectives and the peace movement. The notion of "community" was even used to sanitize the most unpopular most individualized local taxation scheme that Britain had seen for centuries.Community. utopian alternative communities abound. At the other end of the political spectrum community is also used as an ideological weapon. central government or unelected quasi-governmental agencies. as well as extreme Greens and anarchists. However. Community has much invested in it by policy makers. the "one nation" Tories for whom communitarianism is attractive. Community can easily (and in many cases correctly) be defined and mobilized as the opposite to the coercive state. Even if we accept the sincerity of those who espouse the tradition of civic conservatism. By pushing responsibility for social care back into the "community". belonging or mutual care. single parents. and became a nail in the coffin of Margaret Thatcher's political career. This effectively masks the harsh reality of growing inequality in fragmented societies where there is little sense of solidarity. while at the same time ensuring that the dominating forces are those of capital. ethnic minorities.) comments that the warm liberal collectivist glow of "community" is powerful enough to be used by radicals on the left to justify almost ANY form of local political action. and with the ideas of communitarianism firmly on the political agenda we shall conclude this chapter by sketching the attraction of the idea for a number of different political groups. anti-poverty schemes and empowerment of inner city residents. in this case the ideology was unmasked as the "community charge" became almost universally known as the "poll tax". despite the eventual defeat of the strike and the annihilation of the industry. maximizing the political advantage of prejudice against welfare scroungers. through the Amish and Hutterite Brethren. to the Hippies and New Age travellers of today.

Halsey 1989). both to describe the pluralism of multi-ethnic societies. flourishes or withers in such localities. that poverty or social exclusion is the denial of the possibility of social participation and that a compounding factor in deprivation is the absence of community.Greenham Common. Of course for every utopian example of community one could collect matching examples of the failure of the community ideal. It is not insignificant from a policy perspective that community development initiatives of recent years have been concentrated in neighbourhoods of urban deprivation (Miller 1989. and relate to others mainly as consumers. genetically determined racist ideology is yet to been seen. For the people within these groups community does often play a poverty alleviation or politically mobilizing role. busy people lead more privatized lives. . among single parents. not only in Eastern Europe. but the prospect is alarming. The traditional Cockney East End and the spirit of the Blitz evoke the back to the wall communitarianism of a more recent period. in their struggles for social and economic justice. retail co-operatives. Cohen. the notion is far from vacuous. Many of the traditional nostalgic images of community are drawn from this source. It is therefore as a problematic rather than as a manifesto that we shall consider and evaluate it. 1995. Structure of the book It is clear from the preceding discussion that "community-arianism" is far from a common-sense notion. However when observed from the grass roots it is not so clear that community life. However. and in mobilizing excluded groups of people from below. disabled people and refugees that mutual help flourishes. 1994). It is neither easy to define nor self evidently good. ethnicity and nationalism is often employed by the Left. Nonetheless "community" remains a powerful utopian ideal. but in ethnically diverse urban areas in the UK. Cornwell 1984) also dates from the immediate post war period of austerity. as group solidarity and mutual help are one of the few resources they possess in the battle for survival. In contrast more affluent. Recently the ideology of community has emerged to bolster far right nationalism in Europe. The language of community. in what has been described as "the mutuality of the oppressed". especially for people who feel psychologically ill at ease within mainstream capitalist society. and across the world. One's worst fear about communitarianism is that it could be highjacked by a white male backlash movement. The myth of Bethnal Green (Young & Willmott 1957. of religious communes such as Jonestown and Waco where people crossed the boundaries of sanity and tragedy ensued. It is an important problematic. building societies. and does have the potential to offer some useful guidance for social and political life in the postmodern Western world. even buying the services which in poorer communities would be exchanged outside the money economy. religion and social structures of the homeland. (Dominelli 1995). a sensitizing concept on which to build our subsequent discussion. A special case of the necessity of community is that of ethnic minorities. it is among the poor and oppressed that community becomes a necessity rather than a luxury. Recent political events and conflicts in the Isle of Dogs. However. in helping to maintain the traditions. East London show the outworkings of racialised notions of local community. of communes which dissolved in bickering. for a sociobiological. and to attack the liberal individualism which usually forms the philosophical underpining of Western Capitalism (De Benoist & Sunic. The empirical evidence is ambivalent as we shall discover in a later chapter. (Keith. friendly societies and funeral clubs represent the organizing of this impulse in Victorian Britain (Green 1994). Quereshi & Toon 1995) There are already similar discourses to be found in the emerging debate about the racialized "underclass" of the USA. However there is another hypothesis that the poor are less able to maintain support networks than the affluent. The potential value of the language of community. One hypothesis is that in the midst of growing inequality it is among the poorest sections of society. but it can also be important as a conservative cultural defense strategy. language. as opposed to community work. Early Trade unions.

"The Politics of Community. Chapter 6 tackles head on the assertion that community spirit has been lost.Having introduced the key issues it is now time to lay out in more detail what this book seeks to do. Chapter 2 introduces the notions of community development and community action and describes and critiques the policy and practices of various institutions that bear the label "community". a feminist critique of the LiberalCommunitarian debate" Hemel Hempstead Harvester Wheatsheaf Chapter Two: Community involvement and community policy • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • The roots and routes of community development Community action and empowerment Community policy and practice Decentralisation and neighbourhood democracy Community social work Community health Community education Community housing management Community policing Community planning Community economic regeneration Other community initiatives Resourcing community activity Summary and questions Key books for Chapter 2 Return to contents page There is a long history. and at the role of voluntary sector and community groups in shaping civil society. "The Spirit of Community. It is a history in which the conflicting interests of local people and the state. Is there a solid basis for building community in a post-modern world? What are the steps that policy makers and citizens need to take if they are seriously committed to developing community in the next millenium? Key books for Chapter One Etzioni A (1994) . partnership and collaborating effort for local improvements (Craig & Mayo . But is such virtual reality leading us to anywhere but Disneyland? The final chapter returns to the philosophy and policy of community. The method of social network analysis is introduced as a way of exploring a much more complex reality. which communitarianism must take into account. Chapter 7 considers in greater depth the notion of fragmentation and multiple identities. while at other times shared interests lead to dialogue. Chapter 8 brings us back to the global scene. looking at questions of ethnicity and pluralism in a post-modern world. Chapter 4 seeks to locate our understanding of community within the major traditions of sociological theory. the reinvention of American society" New York Touchstone/ Simon & Schuster" Frazer E. which could be dealt with under the heading of community involvement or community development. and vast literature about the relationship of the state and local communities. & Lacey N. Chapter 5 considers what we can learn from the tradition of community studies. Chapter 3 looks at neighbourhood and community life. national and local often come into the foreground. and the reasons that sociologists rejected the genre. and that people today live isolated privatized lives. where telematics technologies are said to have potential for building "communities without propinquity". ways of describing and understanding localities.. (1993).

One thinks for example of the mill village built by Titus Salt just outside Bradford or of the Cadburys in Bournville and Rowntree in York. Finally some community policies rest merely on a pragmatic problem solving approach. Local authorities are becoming enablers. Charitable Trusts directly descended from these . local democracy. The roots and routes of community development One of the oldest streams feeding into the present day practice of community development is the Victorian tradition of philanthropy. the churches and voluntary sector have sponsored numerous community development and community projects. and increased long term unemployment which makes cradle to grave public welfare provision less sustainable. especially in urban areas (Farnell et al 1994b). and of the role of the settlement movement in the intellectual formation of politicians such as Clement Attlee. and their moral imperative for citizen participation and responsibility. public health. In this chapter the aim is to present a brief review of the key literature. Whichever explanation is preferred. starting with the tradition of Community development. It is possible to read this contradiction as an unresolved debate of the Right. Henderson and Thomas (1987) Grundy 1995). These would include the growing numbers of elderly people. Croft & Beresford 1993. who tended to be drawn from opposition parties. Before considering examples of policy and practice in a number of important fields it will be helpful to examine some of the sources and streams which have fed into an approach which seems to inform most of these initiatives. between those who were true disciples of free market liberalism and those who held on to an older tradition of civic conservatism. The full explanation probably is a synthesis of the different readings. (ACW 1994. Blackman 1995). education and other facilities for the workers in their factories. One thinks of the early campaigns of Wilberforce and Shaftesbury against slavery and industrial exploitation of child labour. The most forward looking of the philanthropists realized that attacking symptoms of poverty was not enough. contained no small element of social control and made distinctions between the deserving and undeserving poor. For an introduction to key themes in community development see Taylor (1992) and for a review of contemporary issues the collection edited by Jacobs & Popple (1994). however was considerable in terms of housing. British government statements included references to the importance of mediating structures between individuals and the state. and the provision of facilities such as parks. initiatives in community policy have proliferated in recent years on both sides of the Atlantic. and draw out some key themes and dilemmas in the field. Bespoke local policies. private and voluntary sectors (Wilcox 1994. and praised the little platoons of community groups that make up civil society. The achievement. Donnison 1989). to mask their attempts to dismantle the welfare state and remove power from locally elected politicians. Even in the Thatcher/Reagan decade where individualism was rampant. Twelvetrees 1991. the language and practice of community was far from dead (Willmott & Thomas 1984. youth clubs and the settlement movement. of the statistics and lobbying of Booth and Rowntree. and drawing up community development and partnership strategies which link bodies in the public. Such philanthropy often carried moralistic baggage. At arm's length from the state.1995). Community Links 1995. Even in the 1990's several thousand full time community workers are employed by statutory and voluntary agencies across the UK and several "how to do it" manuals are widely available. The alternative reading is that the Right cynically exploited the feelgood factor in the word. Health and social services provision are increasingly being delivered by community practitioners. libraries. to look by way of illustration at some of the policies and programmes in contemporary Britain. Sometimes the wealthy recognized their self interest in their efforts to provide decent housing. "Community Capacity Building" is now an essential feature of funding bids for urban regeneration projects. developed in consultation with local people may be a particularly appropriate response to the postmodern process of social fragmentation. and result from the desperate search to discover something that works better than earlier failed centralised or bureaucratic policies and the contemporary failure of "trickle down" free market economics. combined with pressures arising from long term social change (Butcher 1993). This of course brings us back to the concerns of the communitarians.

although they are probably more significant in Europe and the Two Thirds world than in the English speaking world.pioneers continue to fund community work and voluntary organisations in Britain today. The mode of operation in which groups are mobilised in struggle over local issues can be labeled community action as opposed to community development. 1983). 1995). teach him to fish you feed him for life" became popular. who claimed to represent local working class communities. though obviously some adaptations are needed. and Greens have also been involved. Attempts at measuring the broad voluntary / charitable sector in the UK reported by the Charities Aid Foundation suggest it employed in 1990 nearly a million people and had a total income of some 11. particularly of local politics. trade unions. and forms the very soil in which community development as a process can take root. while imported Western expertise was seen to fail. (Green 1993). Christians. tenants associations. disability and women's issues to emerge as the major focus. The co-operative movement in Britain developed above all as a consumer organisation. Save the Children and Christian Aid soon discovered that community participation was vital to the success of their programmes. building societies. Anthropologists. However community development also has radical and Left wing proponents and has almost as often been seen as subversive to the interests of the state. Non-governmental aid and development agencies (NGOs) such as Oxfam. In some cases community development sponsored by the State in deprived neighbourhoods can be perceived as manipulation. knowledge and wisdom were found to be important in developing sustainable agriculture and industry. Slogans such as "give a man a fish you feed him for a day. listening to people identifying their own needs and encouraging them to co-operative and creative action were found to be more effective strategies. In many cities in the 1970's activists on the Left found themselves in conflict with Labour controlled local councils. instituted as part of the Urban Programme of the Labour Government is very instructive. and it is tempting to apply the notion of internal colonialism to describe what is going on as local groups are subtly co-opted to the agendas of the powerful. Local ownership of projects. and whose values and policies were by and large conservative. and was therefore keen to co-opt local power structures into the mainstream. Productive co-operatives in agriculture and industry also came into being. health education workers and many other professionals developed techniques which were recognizably those of community development. The British Empire like many others before it. but without a doubt it is still there. Their analysis of the ills of deprived neighbourhoods highlighted structural and economic factors which could not be dealt with by piecemeal reformist measures. found it wise to rule its vast domains with a degree of local consent. with numerous Co-operative retailing societies. and the Marxist tone of their reports was enough to ensure their abolition in the late 1970's (Higgins 1983. drawing on local skills. for example. cultural sensitivity. . It is hard to ascertain whether the voluntary and community sector at the end of the twentieth century retains its earlier vitality. An immense range of other groups had been born before 1900. Loney. funeral clubs. The story of the Community Development Projects. It was only with the rise to . Their continued emphasis on poverty alleviation is one factor which helps explain the concentration of community work in deprived urban neighbourhoods. drama groups and sports associations.5 billion pounds (Saxon-Harold & Kendall eds. Agricultural extension officers in remote villages. and became politically affiliated to the Labour movement. although the two strategies are often employed side by side in a single setting. Non-directive leadership. Lessons learned overseas have been applied by community developers in Europe and North America. ethnicity. In the UK since the 1960's the dominant ideology among community workers has been socialist in emphasis although radical Liberals. A third strand in Community development is its colonial and neo-colonial roots. but whose power base was largely among white working class male trade unionists. As colonies moved through to independence the watchword was political and economic modernisation. The socio-political context of the time in which the importance of class and workplace struggles was diminishing allowed concerns around neighbourhood. self help educational groups. Alongside the philanthropic institutions a grass roots pattern of community organisation also emerged. schoolteachers and missionaries played a role alongside soldiers and merchants in the business of Empire.

The second usage. One of the key concepts deriving from Freire's work is that of empowerment. most clearly defined in the work of Saul Alinsky. In recent years there has been some interest in Alinsky style community organising in Britain with initiatives. and on the formation of small businesses. In the process it has been co-opted and transformed to conform to the ideology of capitalism and the state. At the very least engagement in the process shows that they are not mere passive victims of circumstances. and in the continuing work in several cities of the Industrial Areas Foundation. The emphasis here is on individual empowerment through education. and is a keynote term in many social programmes (Bulmer 1989).reflection -action (Boff. 1986). One common usage. direct actions in which power holders are personally held to account. is consumer empowerment. This process empowered communities to challenge and confront their oppressors. The second influential tradition of community action comes from Latin America and is most commonly associated with the work of Paolo Freire. who operated in Chicago in the middle of the twentieth century. as human beings in relationship with each other they are.power of a new type of urban Labour Party activist in the 1980's that some of the community issues were addressed by local government. even and especially those of the marginalised and oppressed can struggle and in measure achieve a transformation of their conditions. and building confidence within the organisation by concentrating in the early stages in tackling only popular and winnable issues. bringing inspiration to many liberation struggles across the world. The key strategies of this movement are political mobilisation of large numbers of people. backed up by rigorous monitoring. a community educator from Brazil (1972). typified in Britain by John Major's idea of the Citizen's Charter. Community action and empowerment While community development can easily be seen as a constructive and consensus model of working it is often the arena in which conflict and campaigning emerges. theological reflection and social analysis were linked with practical community development and political action in a never ending pastoral cycle of action . through building coalitions of existing groups (among whom religious congregations have a key role). through the clear setting of measurable standards. training and success in the job market. By engaging in social analysis and combining in social and political action local communities. and funding on a scale to do anything significant was extremely scarce. (Alinsky 1972). The Sandanista revolution in Nicaragua in 1979 was probably the high-point of the movement. But this change came at a time when the hegemony of the right meant that the power base of local government was itself being eroded. funded by the Church Urban fund in Bristol and Liverpool. Furthermore when translated to other settings Freire's terminology can easily be co-opted in the interests of the powerful. . so that only pseudo-Freirian techniques remain and liberation is not achieved. Closely allied to the conscientisation movements in Latin America and other Roman Catholic countries was the growth of liberation theologies and radical pastoral practices. and in US influenced African-Caribbean communities in the UK is that of economic empowerment.000 in Brazil alone. agents for change. perhaps especially evident in urban North America. In this. sometimes at great cost in closed political systems. Freire's ideas are certainly much talked about in community work circles in Europe and America but in so far as they are put into practice in the West seem to have limited success. in the Western world in the 1990's the concept of empowerment has become common in political discourse. Liturgy. information processing and an accessible complaints procedure leading to refunds. Their achievements are critically reviewed by Farnell et al (1994a). Bible study. potentially at least. From the USA comes the package of techniques generally referred to as community organising. However. became the focal point of community action. In situations of great poverty and oppression he developed the method of "conscientisation" by which ordinary uneducated people carried out their own social analysis of the causes of their suffering. In particular base Christian Communities. Political action in communities is a transnational phenomenon and two influential streams of theory and practice deserve a mention. This is perhaps because of the absence of a culture in which groups on the base community pattern can flourish. of which there are some 100.

. in which power is inexorably taken away from the weak and poor to be concentrated in the hands of the rich and powerful. in a climate where political participation is uncommon. That such emphases are desirable is not seriously contested. Other local authorities have gone further with local "one-stop" shops where residents can access almost any service local government offers. that they are put into practice in all cases is clearly untrue. participation. and there are other economies of scale which are better achieved by a centralised approach. Community policy and practice Having considered community development and community action models it is important now to look at the increasing emphasis on community in government policy. Decentralisation and neighbourhood democracy Since local politicians are elected to represent residents of a ward. accountability to the community was significantly increased.the consumer or user of a service is empowered to demand satisfaction. In theory such small local decision making bodies could be more responsive to local communities. coherence)". utilised within a range of substantive policy areas". may be harder to substantiate. The limitation which is usually recognised is that certain services such as transport and strategic planning need to be undertaken at a scale greater than the neighbourhood. For example in the London Borough of Newham there are a dozen or so neighbourhood housing offices where Council tenants can. Hambleton & Hoggett 1994).. At the lowest level this meant locating social work offices within deprived neighbourhoods and making them accessible to the public at least during office hours. The obvious comment on both these usages are that they are by nature individualistic and that they are beholden to market forces. Many proposals for fully elected neighbourhood councils have been put forward but have rarely been implemented at least in urban Britain. Thus much of the discourse of empowerment has nothing to do with community in any collective sense. In the USA the diversity of local constitutional arrangements has allowed a number of neighbourhood democratic structures to develop. However his assertions that such policies necessarily relate to "recipients as members of a community". However there is little evidence to suggest that. And while empirically it may be the case that "community policies" usually address the situation of disadvantaged people it would not appear that this is an essential part of the philosophy behind them. as for example in Tower Hamlets under Liberal administrations of the 1980s (Keith 1995).. Costs and the difficulty of legislating change in an unwritten constitution have usually been the barriers. 1993)) that there is no such thing as "community policy" in itself. Community social work During the 1970's in Britain there was a fashion in the social work profession to establish community practice in social work. within walking distance of their homes pay their rent. and provides little hope for powerless people to take more control over their own lives. demand repairs or (as they commonly do) seek a transfer to better accommodation. In order to counter familiar criticisms about the remoteness of City Hall many local authorities on both sides of the Atlantic have decentralised (Burns. local government has an interest in delivering services at the neighbourhood level. and representatives of grass roots groups could be allowed to participate in meetings. One would agree with Butcher (p20 in his introductory chapter of Butcher et al. "rather it is a mode of policy making and implementation . At its most innovatory level social workers engaged in community development work and saw there interventions as preventing the personal crises of clients and potential clients which . that "it implies that the policy will embrace community values (solidarity. that it "involves working in partnership with groups and organisations active at the community level". The most radical forms of decentralisation have involved devolving responsibility and budgets for all local services to neighbourhood authorities. (Hallman 1984). Here neighbourhood decisions were taken by about ten Councillors elected for the neighbourhood. rather than the full Council of about 60 members.

and if so would it ever be capable of. The more frequently voiced critique is that the whole programme of care in the community is massively under-resourced. that very strength would tend to exclude. But voluntary sector and not for profit agencies are in a very competitive position. in which everyone had plenty of kin. even if higher social security benefits are paid. or interested in. (Bornat et al 1993). Indeed there are many occasions when local neighbourhood communities become mobilised in order to oppose proposals to locate hostels or centres for homeless. daughters. However British social work has expanded its community policies and practices in another direction as the provisions of Care in the Community legislation came into force in 1993. daughters-in law or sisters. that there is good chance for them to lead an independent life in the community and that quality care can be provided at no greater cost. as they can often cut costs by making use of volunteer labour and exploiting existing capital resources such as church halls at low rent. The investigation centred on failures in the system of medical and social services. and where food is prepared according to the taste and religion of their Hindu and Muslim members. But because community is such a good thing in the discourse of both Left and Right it becomes heretical to criticise the basic philosophy behind community care. individual counselling and welfare rights advice. The philosophy which has been around since the 1960s is that vulnerable people by and large prefer to stay in their own homes to being in institutions. paying low wages and reducing care standards to the minimum specification may make a handsome profit. While all these factors are relevant and faults in the system do need to be remedied. Feminist writers have made the powerful critique that the vast majority of the burden of care falls upon women as wives. emotional and practical support in group settings. in that their members and staff have little time to devote to community development processes. Some private sector agencies are able to offer these services and through good management. rather than care for. and less . each with time and goodwill to support and care for them in times of sickness and need. many of whom are also struggling to hold down a paid job at the same time. for example the Asian elders group based two hundred yards from my own home can offer a service where workers speak Gujerati and Punjabi. Family centres where they continue to exist are much more likely to be in the voluntary sector with community and social workers employed by agencies such as Barnardos or the Children's Society. Family centres were one important model where parents of vulnerable children could drop in during the day to receive child care. Furthermore locally based community groups can often provide a more appropriate service to particular groups of local. service users. Some research findings bearing on this issue will be covered in chapter 6 and others are reviewed in Robbins ed. However the panic in social work resulting from a number of well publicised tragic cases of child abuse. coupled with the lessening of resources in face of increased needs has reduced dramatically the range of community social work. friends and neighbours on an unpaid basis. particularly in the care of people with mental health problems. disabled or mentally ill people in their own back yard. Much of the community care legislation seems to rest on a rosy nostalgia for a probably never existing community. it is rare to hear voices asking a more fundamental question (Clarke 1982 and Bulmer 1987 are exceptions). Community care has already had its spectacular failures. (1993). and in the underfunding of mental health services in London (Ritchie et al 1994). There have been several cases where a schizophrenic has killed an innocent bystander. Indeed care can be provided much more cheaply if the patient or client can be looked after by family. Is there in fact an entity worthy of the name "community" in places like inner London. Ironically it is plausible that even if community solidarity was strong. However. where social workers were clearly at fault.they traditionally ameliorated or tidied up. on poor communication between professionals. mothers. when grass roots community groups do become engaged in the contract culture they often lose a certain amount of freedom. offering genuine care and support to patients discharged from mental hospitals. marginalised and vulnerable people. as in the case of the death of Jonathan Zito at the hands of Christopher Clunis in 1992. neighbours and friends. One keystone of care in the community policies on both sides of the Atlantic is the growing emphasis on for the state to offer contracts for welfare services to independent agencies.

Alongside this. so that adults as well as teenagers may sit in the same classroom studying for qualifications in French or computer studies. Training for practitioners. Community housing management Public sector housing is yet another part of the British Welfare state which has suffered the onslaught of the New Right and has needed to develop new "community" strategies in order to continue. 1980). or encourage them to take part in classroom activities such as reading stories to their children (Nisbet et al.room to become involved in radical community action campaigns. home bathing assistance for a patient with back problems. midwives. There are other signs of the community being taken seriously in medicine. standardised assessment of pupils' performance. The medical profession has recognised for many years that certain services are best delivered in the community. It may well sponsor the work of a community Association. Public Health researchers have long recognised the link between deprivation and ill health and are engaged in studies to disentangle the effects of locality. take responsibility for seven figure budgets. it would still be true to say that for most medical professionals "community" as a concept means little more than the opposite of hospital (in-patient) or institutional service delivery. A community school may seek to involve parents in self help activities. including a building for the benefit of the whole community. The role of health visitors in preventive medicine for babies and young children and of district nurses providing services for patients at home is a well established feature of British health care. Or community education may be focussed on allowing access to learning for all local residents. (Wykurz 1994) However.g. (Blackman 1995. league tables and market forces allegedly allow parents to exercise choice in their children's schooling. Community education Community policies in education can cover a wide range of services and initiatives around the schooling of children and continuing education for adults. There has long been a voluntary sector involvement in housing from the early building . Macintyre et al 1993). and health advocates and interpreters for people who speak little English. which often means little more than home visits. A more politicised community strategy in education is the development of local management of schools. For example the East London Health Authority has funded a voluntary sector project which aims to make home child safety items and other baby and toddler equipment available at low cost to families on low income. especially community nurses. In some cases this extends to courses for trainee doctors and dentists. where governing bodies. In recent times more proactive measures in community medicine have developed for example health education programmes with outreach workers contacting community groups. The focus could be on a community school which sees its role as providing facilities. ethnicity and individual poverty on mortality and morbidity. Health for All and Healthy Cities have led to a reinvigoration of public health departments since the mid 1980's. Initiatives such as Health for the Nation. e. health visitors and physiotherapists increasingly includes units dealing with community sociology. Policies which allow the funding of community groups to develop health initiatives are also in place. as evidenced by the arrangements for joint funding of programmes and disputes over cases where it is not clear if the client has a medical or social need. composed of representatives nominated or elected by parents. especially if the powerful enemy is the arm of the state which funds their community care work. and compel the school to be more efficient and responsive to the educational aspirations of the local community. produce a newsletter for the whole neighbourhood and put on events which are designed to bring local residents into contact with each other as a basis for community development. teachers and other stakeholders in the local community. Community health The boundaries between care in the community provided by social services agencies and medical services provided in Britain by the National Health Service is an increasingly fuzzy one.

and most have lost their former grass roots involvement with communities. Foster 1993). although it can be argued that without a huge input of resources and training tenants choice is no real choice and brings more grief than joy to local communities. Independent radical groups offer advice to local residents on the technical issues behind planning decisions. unpublished) Thus Community planning for the most part is an oppositional activity. Weatheritt 1993. yet it has to be said that many community activists regard this as mere tokenism. and their tradition of social housing to an extent continues in the Housing Association movement. (Willmott 1989. In response to the Scarman enquiry on the Brixton disturbances of 1981 new strategies of community policing were introduced. according to the account by Power (1995) has already notched up some fine achievements. In addition street disturbances. they have become little more than an arm's length agency of the state. A century ago charitable trusts like Peabody were involved in building homes for the poor. A key aspect of the programme in any district is a profile of local crime patterns and consultation with all sections of the community as to possible responses. Community as an ideal was a keystone of the project. the commitment to put "more bobbies back on the beat". With limited capital investment in social housing being directed through Housing Associations rather than to local Councils. with its unpopular tower blocks. in Britain's Inner cities. some racial awareness training for police officers and the creation of Neighbourhood Watch schemes in many areas. In the UK a subsequent programmes including the Safer Cities initiative tackle crime reduction and community safety by funding a range of community initiatives. from better street lights to car maintenance projects for young people who are seen as potential offenders (Henderson & Del Tufo 1991. showed that insensitive policing could be counter productive. Willmott 1989). Land use battles continue to be a major focus for community action. and to receive crime prevention advice from local police. In . there are hundreds of local residents who have a personal interest in preventing "them" from building a motorway or a sewage incinerator in their neighbourhood. These included the establishment of consultative groups between the police and the community. with slogans like tenants choice being backed by incentives such as the promise of refurbishement for estates whose tenants wish to take responsibility from their municipal landlords. The Priority Estates Programme. Community policing By the mid 1980's it was clear that investment in police salaries. The latter was an American invention in which local residents banded together to keep an eye out on each other's property. 1987. and the introduction of hightech rapid response equipment was an ineffective response to high crime rates. The emergence of environmentalism as a global social movement has made a deep impact. The resulting urban wasteland.societies. However community policy in housing management has been developing apace. Turner. Planners in response have made a serious commitment to public consultation as a vital stage in their work. yet for every convinced Green. developments lacking community facilities and urban motorways which carved through neighbourhoods. through squatting movements of the immediate post war years to self build housing cooperatives. which like the riots in the USA a decade or two. sink estates. poor and black. (Scarman 1981. Although these schemes were often successful in affluent neighbourhoods they were notoriously hard to establish in deprived estates. were portrayed as the uprising of criminal elements who tended to be young. helped planning as a profession to lose any credibility it once had with the general public. (Heraud 1975). an East London Tower block in 1968 became the symbol of the crumbling of post war hopes. or in ethnic neighbourhoods. The collapse of Ronan Point. Architecture has also responded to the community imperative and many professionals regard consultation with local communities as an essential step in their work. Solomos & Benyon eds. especially when a development arouses the NIMBY (not in my back yard) passions. Community planning Urban planning as a discipline had reached its zenith in the UK in the immediate post war decades with the New Town and slum clearance programme in major cities.

(Introduction to Keith & Pile eds. More recent regeneration policy has therefore introduced a community element. the private sector and community groups have been made. DOE 1990). small business development. Governments and local authorities have recognised that there is a need for regeneration of local economies and even the business sector has come to see their long term interest is well served by investing in training. but would plough back any surpluses into the local community (Pearce 1993. other areas have Community Investment / Development Trusts or formal development Partnerships and everywhere the employment training programme has been put in the hands of business led Training and Enterprise Councils (Blackman 1995). Minimal planning regulations. with the removal of planning powers from local councils took such hopes away. The establishment of the London Docklands Development Corporation in 1981. Their interest is usually either to protest against proposals which would harm their existing amenities or as community groups to seek funding for small scale projects meeting specific needs of their members and users. Unleashing market forces as in London Docklands has failed to deliver the anticipated trickle down effect which it was hoped would raise the poor out of dependency. local councils. Henderson ed. charitable or industrial sources. and serious attempts to build partnerships between government. Thus for example in estates far removed from supermarkets and where all the local shops are closed a community food co-operative might be set up. Generally such businesses are not for personal profit. there are opportunities for a range of grass roots community businesses to emerge and flourish. (Thake & Staubach (1993). Often such businesses are organised as co-operatives with a degree of common ownership and worker participation in management. Models such as these are already familiar in North America. 1991. The elements in this include training for job skills appropriate to the changed local economy.London Docklands in the early 1980's community groups produced the Peoples Plan which took account of local residents needs and aspirations. regeneration. However it should be pointed out that almost all government funding requires matched funding from local. the new Single Regeneration Budget regime and from European Union budgets. often filling a gap which no commercial firm would find profitable. creating crime free neighbourhoods and increasing the circulation of money in local economies. investment in infrastructure and the empowerment of local people and community groups to play a more active part in both the economic and social life of the locality. in communities where the economic base is permanently weak. the underlying question for them all is whether they can ever become profitable and viable on a long term basis without continued subsidy. In a neighbourhood with no banks local credit unions have an opportunity to develop. that it is usually seen as short term seed money used to lever further investment and that money for special regeneration projects is far outweighed by general cutbacks in public sector resources for local economies. a crumbling infrastructure and an increasing concentration of disadvantaged residents who are dependent on welfare or low paid casual work. Many other examples of community enterprises could be cited. However. Lynn 1993) It is also the case that while genuine attempts have been made to involve local communities in regeneration they are almost by definition the junior partner. then industries and most recently retail and leisure facilities have relocated away from city centres. loss of local jobs. The London Docklands experience is a prime example of a non-community policy in urban planning and economic regeneration. . Some similar patterns can be seen in peripheral rural areas. or the exploitation of voluntary or low paid labour. financial incentives and tax breaks for developers unleashed market forces which brought windfall profits to property speculators and a changed skyline but little else to local residents. In Britain many local Councils have set up Economic Development Units. Older inner city areas have experienced economic decline. DCC 1992) Community economic regeneration The last half century of counter-urbanisation based on improved transportation and the rural dream has meant that homes. State money has been directed to such projects through the City Challenge Programme. (1992). Usually they seek to employ local people and to provide goods or services in the neighbourhood.

nearly half who were users. Community Youth work encourages the participation of young people in devising programmes to meet their needs. the major churches. Community centres and churches can simply offer space and facilities for groups such as sporting activities. Newham's 821 voluntary sector groups in a population of around 220. The European study found role of this sector is especially important in deprived neighbourhoods. Self help or mutual aid groups are likely to have an increasing role in health and welfare policy in coming years (Wann 1995). and where private venues are not always culturally acceptable to local people. and that the preferred model of investment is a partnership between Government and its arm's length agencies. from voluntary charitable donations managed by charitable trusts. Under this heading come a wide range of organisations and informal networks ranging from tenants association to scout groups. support groups. play groups and religious groups with no premises of their own. At least this is a step forward from the minimalist interventionism of free marketeers keen to reduce taxation. political parties. or are branches of wider organisations such as churches or national voluntary agencies but others have emerged spontaneously from friendship or neighbourhood networks. and that democratic debate is the best way of taking decisions about them. Despite continuing political conflicts about inequality and redistribution. is arguably THE crucial issue for every area of community policy and practice which we will now consider. but recognised that some of the most vulnerable residents tended to be excluded. a more complete mapping and networking of it at the local level and strategies which extend its outreach to socially excluded people. (Chanan & Voos 1990. Finance can thus be raised from taxes which are redistributed as grants. video production centres and community newspapers seek to enhance local channels of communication. with up to a third of local residents in membership. the private sector and the voluntary sector. accountancy services and advice on funding applications. Community media such as very local radio stations. and support groups for people with every conceivable disability or medical condition. the most numerous and possible most significant sphere of community activity is that of independent community associations and self help groups. It is not clear that Etzioni's type of communitarianism can offer much help other than the general notions that some communal goods are worth paying for our of a common national purse. Community arts seeks to develop locally connected creative skills and appreciation of the arts by a local public who are often excluded from highbrow culture. A recent European study suggested an average of three (mostly small) community groups in existence per 1000 population. Local Authorities. taxation and welfare. the National Lottery .Other community initiatives Every conceivable sphere of life can be given a "community" label and many other types of community initiative could be catalogued. such as umbrella and resource agencies. Effective community policy demands that such centres are available. They often will have a coffee bar where anyone can drop in and socialise informally. campaigning groups. especially in deprived neighbourhoods where homes are often too small to hold meetings. (Councils for Voluntary Service in the UK). baby sitting circles.000 is in line with this estimate though a membership / involvement rate estimated at 15% or less appears lower (Smith 1992). While most of the community practices described above are top down initiatives originating in the state or in the professions. Indeed funding in terms of both quantity and quality. where community groups can find cheap photocopying or computing facilities. from speculative investment of capital. and around 5% who could be described as activists. and also benefits from the funding of community infrastructure. Resourcing community activity The funding of "community" policy and activity is inevitably vigorously contested in both national and local debates. a consensus does seem to be emerging in Britain in the 1990's that investing in local economies is a useful and necessary policy. Chanan 1992). Some such groups have resulted from initial activities by professionals. Public buildings are a key resource for community activity. Community Advice services offer consumer or welfare rights advice to individuals and groups. It recommended better resourcing of the sector and its infra structure.

At the very least grants are made for a limited period. In the first place it should be massively . A 5000 annual grant from the National Lottery to the local play group is no real gain if each of the fifty families who use it are spending more than 2 each week on lottery tickets. few funded groups are willing to risk radical activities which could upset or threaten the interests of their funders. However. It is inevitable that as soon as community groups receive outside funding some of their critical independence. but professionalisation in the community sector is rarely empowering for the powerless. increasing tax burdens are falling on the residents and social security payments are being squeezed. Funders vary in the degree of managerial or political control they maintain over the community group and in their demands for financial and other accountability. Projects are only approved if they can be shown to enhance the local economy. It is not however so well appreciated in community work as a whole. Chanan (1992) has suggested that costing the fifty hours a week of voluntary work which an average local group might contribute at 5 an hour adds 12. and rarely thought desirable. Above all it ensures that much time is spent in the final year in a desperate search for renewed or alternative funds. which demand a new level of bureaucratic skills from community activists. The projects favoured tend to be small business development or employment training measures. When evaluating an anti poverty programme it certainly becomes worth posing the question as to whether converting the whole budget into used banknotes and scattering them from a hot air balloon over the neighbourhood would have produced greater benefits to local people. In consequence of these problems it can be argued that funding for the community sector should be based on rather different principles than at present. lies or hidden contempt. and finally from small scale fundraising by local residents.500 a year to its budget. who often find them boring. usually no more than two or three years and are often designated as pump priming. the equivalent of a salary for a half time post.Boards. or the charitable departments of major corporations. It is very easy to be co-opted into the agendas of the funders. that funding should be given with no strings attached. A massive government grant to an inner city estate is not necessarily an overall resource gain if at the same time other services are being cut. It is almost impossible. This rarely allows continuity or long term planning and can lead to wasted capital investment. Nor is it likely that anyone has every costed all the time and effort put into the process of acquiring funds and recruiting staff for a modest community project by paid and unpaid workers. One suspects that in many cases. They tend to be evaluated in terms devised by accountants such as inputs and outputs. A private sector contribution of several millions is not necessarily a net gain if the same firm has recently made 1000 workers redundant or is investing in a new supermarket which will destroy the local high street shops and only offer low paid part time jobs. Finally the model of outside funding of any community initiative raises the questions of dependency and autonomy. irrelevant or antithetical to their basic value systems. Firstly resources for community development and urban regeneration are increasingly focussed on the economy. not only of the local community group but also of the funding bureaucracies. frustration. usually in terms of jobs created or saved. innovatory style and informality will be lost. This point is now well established in relation to the unpaid inputs mainly of women in the areas of child care and community care of the elderly and disabled. but the approach to the funders is suffused with cynicism. such as new community centres which have to close when running costs are not covered. Secondly for any funding of community initiatives one needs to ask if more money is actually being taken out of a locality than put in. Thirdly in measuring the resource inputs to community policies and projects the time inputs of volunteers and activists are not usually costed. Many are willing to play the game for the sake of the funding. Given this resource base four comments about its allocation are apposite. Contracts and service level agreements for the voluntary sector may increase professionalism. when added to the costs incurred in processing the many unsuccessful applications that the costs would exceed the value of the grant received.

accountancy. Larger not for profit groups seem little different from commercial providers of care. Furthermore to do so would be more communitarian in ethos. For this to happen. it should be purely self financing. the localities which are in greatest need of community action are the ones with the least resources to sustain it. in face of the reality of local deprivation. It remains to be proved that there is a valid role for voluntary sector groups to compete for contract funding from the state. networking and conference facilities. training. It might be better in terms of local empowerment to use the money to pay volunteer expenses. Funding ought to be empowering. This sadly is one part of the voluntary sector in the UK which remains chronically undervalued and under resourced. such as accountancy. This argument falls however. or to send volunteers on training courses in computing. for example by a rigorous social and environmental audit process. community development. It is not empowering and indeed unfair to ask a management group made up of low paid workers and benefit claimants to employ a professional community worker on a salary scale which is sometimes twice the local average income. A more fruitful investment of all the time and effort devoted to the institutional voluntary sector would be to direct it to the local community sector. Health and Welfare funding should be allocated on a consciously equalising basis. Capital investment in local economic regeneration./service users as partners Maximising community/user involvement and inter agency links Service managers Promoting community Campaigning for community interests and community policies Structurally oppressed groups organising for power Campaign tactics on concrete issues Community defining Participants and meeting own needs Methods Roles Creative and cooperative processes Professionals working Activists/organisers . and in developing skills of local residents is important. casual wages for creche helpers. except that sometimes charitable effort and volunteering can provide cheap labour and finance. and offered to local groups with few strings attached other than checks on financial probity. As Knight (1994) argues such a split in the voluntary sector appears to be emerging anyway. it would be wise for funders to spread their resources thinly in numerous small grants. Summary and questions To summarise the ground covered in this chapter we reproduce here Glen's typology of (in his terms) three forms of community practice) (1993 p 39) Community Development Aims Community Action Community Services Approach Developing community oriented organisations and services Organisations. There is however one function where resources should be deployed strategically in employing professionals for the benefit of community groups. legal services. welfare rights work or community development. but should be made accountable. unbureaucratic in procedures. providing of course that all the legal restrictions of tax.increased especially in so far as it can be directed towards localities and communities which suffer deprivation and have been accustomed to resources being taken out of them. Each district should have its own well resourced umbrella body and resource centre. conducted with the fullest participation of local communities. providing free or low cost services to groups. research and information. Even so many local community groups might be well advised to keep complete independence by not accepting any outside moneys. How then should the local grass roots community sector be resourced? It is possible to argue not at all. rather than merely as some compensatory or safety net provision for those judged to be in extreme need (on the basis of standardised statistical indexes). No revenue grant to a community group should exceed a single half time salary. benefits and the Children Act could be circumvented.

and contested concept. Key books for Chapter 2 Butcher et al eds. and activities carrying the label of community. We move on now to a more descriptive task. and perhaps also on pragmatic grounds that they provide more efficient. responsive and user friendly services. One is tempted to look to sociology to provide a clear and objective definition. where the main concern was the place. One recurring theme was that of solidarity. which increasingly operate at a global level? Many of the community initiatives outlined above are to be welcomed on the basis of communitarian values of participation and mutual help. Pluto Press. respond to the realities of community life which is often extended along lines of communication linking ethnic or special interest groups over a wide are? Thirdly can community policy initiatives originating in a top-down manner from the state ever genuinely engage with the concerns of local communities who have long been excluded from prosperity and decision making? Can it overcome the reality that the bulk of the money invested in community goes to pay professionals from outside while locals are often expected to give their time for free? Can community policy defend itself from the accusation that it is an ideological con-trick masking public sector spending cuts? Finally can any community policy make an impact on underlying structural issues of economic and political power. between people which may or may not be centred in a particular location. in political discourse and in the practice of community workers and other community professionals. in that sociologists are inextricably part of the object of their study and the dissemination of earlier sociological study has formed a feedback loop in the structuration of society (Giddens 1984). and rests on unclear and contested. It will be clear that it is impossible to give an agreed or authoritative definition of such a value laden. However. some sociological perspectives In the first two chapters of the book we have examined some of the ways that the term "community" is used in everyday speech. the neighbourhood. because sociology as a discipline is of necessity reflexive. A good starting point is Hillery's 94 definitions of the notion of community (1955). which inevitably had considerable overlap. However they can hardly be regarded as a panacea for all our social ills. as long as they fail to give satisfactory answers to these crucial questions. This perspective although popular and important (Dennis 1965) is perhaps best dealt with under headings such as social geography or locality studies and discussion of such themes is postponed to the next chapter. and sensitise us in our understanding of particular communities. the locality and only as an afterthought the people and their relationships. if sometimes rosy and romantic views of the concept of community? Secondly can community policies which are territorially defined. as most still are. The other groups of definitions were more strictly sociological in that they focussed on relationships. Willmott P. They can also be applied to the notions of community development and community action. They fell mainly into three categories. ill considered. London PSI Chapter Three: Community. In the first place were those which had a largely geographical or local reference.in a non directive way mobilising for politcal action restructuring transactions with users Some questions remain about the nature of community policy overall. (1989) Community Initiatives. fellow feeling. "communitas" which . So far we have concentrated on values attached to the notion. Yet there are in the sociological tradition a number of perspectives which can clarify our descriptions of the concept of community. (1993) "Community and Public Policy" London. it can provide no simple formulas. First of all can there be a coherent account of Community policy when it is so diverse.

The Romantic argument is that this produces intimacy. and explain almost everything in terms of the relationships of various classes to the means of production. that make for the smooth functioning of society. which we shall pick up later in our discussion of postmodernity.binds people together with a shared sense of identity or belonging. In some ways this type of discourse belongs more properly in the discipline of social psychology. and that even in modern urban settings it is not totally absent. In "The Constitution of Society" (1984) it appears neither in the glossary or index. studiously avoids the use of the term "community". Plant (1974) examines the account of German thought given by Nisbet. The emphasis would be on consensus and social cohesion. The structural functionalist approach derived from Durkheim. The two approaches have some resonance with the familiar sociological dichotomy of structure and action and the traditions associated respectively with two giants among the disciplines founders. Schiller and Hegel in the "rediscovery of community" at that time. but each contact was likely to be . females and outsiders to achieve prosperity. A third school using the Marxist framework would bring the economic structures and relationships underlying social life into the foreground. and look for features. traded with. many of them below the surface of actors' awareness. would look for patterns and regularities in community life. Durkheim and Weber. of religion and neighbourliness. A key notion of these German Romantics. who seeks in much of his work to synthesise the insights offered by these schools into one grand theory. which is still influential in North American sociology. Plant traces how the theme continues especially in urban sociology down to the work of Louis Wirth (1938) and Harvey Cox (1968). while in modernity the division of labour leads to fragmented forms of human interaction. worked alongside. that it is the intimacy of home and hearth. To be fair to Tonnies it is important to point out that he saw Gemeinschaft not as a disappearing historical situation but as a quality and style of human interaction. Giddens. goods and services tends to structure and transform networks into a self conscious entity. and the interest would be on mechanisms of solidarity. the same people were linked by a multistranded pattern of roles. Interaction was on a human scale and people largely lived with.e. and via that route in communitarianism. The industrial revolution and the urbanisation and political upheavals which accompanied it were the context in which the founding fathers of sociology were working. All of these approaches have something to offer to the study of community. especially the poor. people who they had known face to face all through their lives. i. The popular version of the account goes like this. and points to the contributions of Herder. The most influential statement of these ideas for subsequent discussion of the concept of community is Tonnies' duality between Gemeinschaft (community) and Gesellschaft (association) which appeared in 1887. worked in another and took their leisure in another. married. so that increasingly people resided in one place. and would rely more heavily on interpreting the explicit accounts of actors involved in the society. In the idyllic (but perhaps imaginary) village life of two centuries ago community (Gemeinschaft) was a natural state of affairs. and the exchange of information. processes and social change in communities. The whole man (person) is found in the context of traditional community. here people might be in contact with far greater numbers of people. An alternative emphasis is on social interaction as frequent contact. The appropriate description of modern urban society was associational (Gesellschaft). urbanisation and improved transport gradually eroded this pattern of community life. quarreled with and were even oppressed by. Relationships between people were multiplex. power and personal fulfilment or a chosen lifestyle. and in his comprehensive textbook "Sociology" (1982) it is indexed but once. A more action oriented approach in the Weberian tradition would be better at explaining relationships. worshipped with. Inevitably status was ascribed rather than achieved and there were therefore many constraints on the ability of individuals. social cohesion and sympathy between the participants. is that of fragmentation. and had a significant impact when they selected their problematics. Industry. and the role of shared values and beliefs. although there is within the mainstream of sociology a long history of searching for the elements which like glue or cement bind society together. Yet it is perhaps significant that one of the leading sociological theorists of our day.

or the self sufficient tribe in the case of indigenous peoples of the European Empires. instrumental. Here individuals chose or covenant to bind themselves together into a collective unit which takes on far greater significance and develops greater levels of solidarity / communion than the transitory associations of Gesellschaft. Contemporary sociology. children and the retired in the neighbourhood.modernity. While Bund structures have been known in both pre modern and modern periods of history. status and role relationships are not based on birth. Organisational life would also be segmented. (1933) where he explains how a relatively simple form of economic and social linkages comparable to the machine evolved over time to become an immensely complicated network of social and economic interdependencies. that its numerous fragmentary relationships failed to provide social support and meaning for the whole person.urbanism. limited companies and unions for the work place. and reinforced the dichotomy between traditional and modern societies. other than that the "patriotism of the parish has become an archaism that cannot be restored . Crucially he introduces another (usefully elastic!) term "Bund". combined with romantic nostalgia for past times. Thus he had relatively little to say about local forms of community. He developed this notion of anomie to the full in his work on suicide. may be more forgiving to Tonnies here than that of the mid twentieth century. serving a "community of interest" often spread over a wider catchment area. a system with a life and strength of its own. the conflation of facts and values. push many people into experiments with alternative forms of community. where he showed how such ultimate personal despair was most common in settings where community solidarity was weak. they seem by nature to have only short term stability. often translated into English as league or federation. travel to work in another. the nation state in the Europe of his age. de-centring of identity. disability support groups. However he turned Tonnies terminology on its head by suggesting that mechanical solidarity was typical of traditional society and organic solidarity of the modern world. arts and drama groups. Hetherington cites Schmalembach to argue that the Bund as an ideal type of grouping has particular relevance for the postmodern period. orders and "intentional communities".fleeting. It is perhaps more unfortunate that two other confusions were introduced by the tendency to equate Gemeinschaft with Gesellschaft with two other dualities. For Tonnies the concern with the loss of Gemeinschaft betrayed a conservative set of values and their fears about the problems of social cohesion and social control in an urban world increasingly divided by class conflict. and described it as the more genuine form of living together. to cover a conceptually (but not necessarily historically) intermediate form of human association. Durkheim's concerns were mainly around the relationship between individuals and society as a whole. In this he has been accused of introducing the fundamental confusion of community sociology. in which social fragmentation. residents associations and groups for women. He described it as a living organism and Gesellschaft as a mechanical artifact. An important. with special interest associations such as sports clubs. and clearly has some value in the description of religious sects. and the wide range of options for lifestyle. However. though much neglected critique of this duality comes from the German sociologist Schmalenbach (Hetherington 1994). Unlike Gemeinschaft. The concept of Bund has been applied to communities as diverse as kibbutzim and the Hitler Youth. religious groups. military units or Japanese style industrial work teams. tradition or ascription. rurality . being less wedded to positivism and pseudo objectivity. (1951). engaged in debate with Tonnies over some shared concerns. but tend towards either radical egalitarianism or dependence on charismatic leadership. In the city people would live in one neighbourhood. For example he wrote that it is impossible to speak of bad Gemeinschaft. Durkheim who was in his early years far more progressive ideologically and optimistic about the potential of modernity than Tonnies. resolving towards Gesellschaft if they break up in the earlier stages or Gemeinschaft if they can be sustained into the second and third generation. take leisure in another and make contact with different sets of people in each. and only involve a single role relationship. Yet Durkheim recognised that this complex urban industrial world had a devastating impact on many individuals. and of collectivities such as street gangs. and traditional . Durkheim's discussion was set in the context of his thesis of the division of labour.

he began by describing four ideal types of social behaviour (Freund 1968). and the group can exercise sanctions or coercion if necessary. behaviour and values can override economics in determining who deals with. Persons of the same income and with the same relation to capital may be ascribed or achieve different statuses on the basis of their education. Weber's final type is that of group behaviour. Marx longed for and predicted (misguided as it turned out) a revolutionary . lifestyle. It underlies for example Rex and Moore's illuminative account of housing class and ethnicity in Sparkbrook in the 1960's. of solidarity. Here there is a clear controversy with Marx whose economic reductionism portrayed class as an objective and given category. Weber relates much of his analysis of social interaction to the economy and develops a quite sophisticated analysis of social class. but the probabilistic outcome of multiple decisions by largely rational actors. would appear thoroughly communitarian in spirit. Mobilisation of class interests for political and social action was not the result of an infallible economic law. Communal is taken to be relationships based on a subjective sense of belonging. Yet there is a clear submission to authority. In contrast Weber saw status groups as communal. It would be impossible to complete this chapter without more than a passing reference to Karl Marx who was undoubtedly the most influential social scientist who has ever lived. a closed group with clearly defined rules and authority and/or representational structures. Weber's study of organisational life produced important insights into the process of bureaucratisation of society and it is easy but probably an oversimplification to contrast the formal rational organisations which developed with traditional "natural" forms of "community". Traditional community belonged to an earlier period of economic development and was lost for ever under capitalism. boundary marking processes.at will" (1933). culture. His vision for such organisations in which people would work co-operatively in the common interest. Institutional behaviour takes place when rules are explicit and imposed from on high rather than by members themselves. Numerous attempts have been made to draw up a universal status hierarchy on a single dimension. His emphasis on the economic determinants of social life has already been mentioned. Typically this form is that of the state and similar bureaucratic organisations. Here people enter of their own free will and rules remain uncodified. an important concept to bear in mind as we explore the notions of communities. Sub types of corporate groups are enterprises. He saw clearly how the capitalist and industrial system of production produced workers who were alienated from the process and product of their labour. Associative behaviour depends on a mutually agreed and explicit set of rules and is typical of voluntary sector organisations and political parties. which he distinguishes from status (1970). Weber also distinguishes between closed and open groups. A common form of associative relationship is the Verband or corporate group. Behaviour based on mutual consent is governed by implicit social rules such as the practices of the market place or the code of politeness. and in conflict with the owners of capital. associations and institutions. religion or ethnicity for example. Weber (1964) in contrast went beyond the dichotomies of Tonnies and Durkheim. As might be expected from a sociologist who was interested in human action. which are closely related in German to Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft. befriends or marries whom. However in Weber there are different shades of meaning. Association in contrast refers to more rational forms of social organisation. Typically this form is that of a sect under charismatic leadership. and networks in later chapters. Concerns of honour. based either on shared values and goals. Weber goes on to categorise social relationships and organisations and it is here that he uses the terms communal and associative. However it must not be assumed that this implies solidarity since open or secret competition or conflict can still take place within the unwritten rules. and most survey and census research analyses class on an occupational status basis. His suggested remedy for modern social ills revolved around guild socialism and national social cohesion constructed from the building blocks of a wide range of secondary groups. if often amorphous. Weber insisted that classes could not be equated in any sense with communities. Weber's approach to status allows us to go beyond this and is helpful when dealing with the fragmented communities and networks of the postmodern world.

although he shows how the hegemony of the ruling class is served by a civil society which only appears to be independent of the state and free from coercion. and the way its usage. which prevents a serious analysis of the global factors impacting on localities. fails to match or even shapes social reality. A further reason for denying any theoretical status to community is it's inextricable link to the local and parochial. However. He tended to see society in terms of a simple dichotomy between the sphere of market individualism and the sphere of the state. Chicago school sociology. was similarly eclectic. The late twentieth century has seen a reluctance among social theorists to grapple with the concept of community. district and neighbourhood level (Cooke 1989. As we shall see in later chapters many studies have been conducted and many insights gained. 1989). It is not necessary to define the term. In the case of the French peasants that "the identity of their interests begets no community. had little time for localism or other aspects of "community". class and status analysis and social networks but was unconvincing in its eclecticism. They prefer to see community studies as a research method rather than a sub discipline of sociology. as we shall see in the next chapter. Even when he made use of Hegel's term "civil society" to fill the middle ground. the political power invested in the term. Frankenberg's (1966) attempt to synthesis a theory from the findings of the mid century community studies brought together aspects of functionalism. This is the logic behind a framework for local studies which focus on economic processes and change and their impact on social life at the regional. as we can usefully describe its usage by various actors in society. Insights into the nature of communities within institutional settings such as Asylums (Foucault 1971) have made important contributions to social theory as a whole. A second reason for hanging on to the concept of community is the nature of contemporary social change itself. he saw this "burgerliche Gesellschaft" as a form of economic association appropriate to a limited historical juncture in early capitalism (Kumar 1993)." (Marx 1852). Harvey 1973. In his own time it appears that he struggled with the contradiction between the shared economic interest that should have brought exploited groups together with a shared consciousness. no national bond and no political organization among them. Bell and Newby (1971) underline this point several times when they characterise community studies as atheoretical and non-cumulative in the production of knowledge. Others reject the notion of community because the term itself is so vague.transformation of society to a form where common ownership would produce a universal solidarity between people. and in the role of the independent Polish trade union Solidarity. Thus Gramsci (1988) develops a form of Marxism in which cultural institutions play a role outside the economy. Marx as an internationalist. with his call for class solidarity. and as not soundly based in economic materialism. However. Methods for studying both local and non-local communities have become more diverse and more sophisticated. It also confused the issue of community with that or the rural urban continuum. and wedded to a conception of the urban neighbourhood as a community. and the current historical reality. But no convincing grand theory of community has emerged. and despite the numerous attempts incapable of precise definition. This influential discourse is worthy of analysis in its own right as an important feature of postmodernity. matches. and faith in economic laws. Globalisation and social fragmentation mean that in the social sciences the old simplicities of class analysis have succumbed to a diverse range of critical theories from . most clearly in the analysis of events in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. Recent studies in the Marxist tradition such as Castells (1977) have also begun to explore the role of community groups and urban social movements in political and social struggles. and has rarely been attempted. The basic sociological themes in the discussion of community have changed little in the past century. they do not form a class. Marxists tend to reject it as an ideological construction of capitalism. later Marxists have developed the notion of civil society as the autonomous mediating structures between the individual or family and the state. the enduring popularity of Tonnies paradigm in popular discourse about social change ensures that "community" remains as an important element in the social construction and representation of society. There as been renewed interest in the notion of civil society in recent years.

They need a middle level term between society and the individual to capture the experience that people do interact and find identity and belonging in small groups and personal networks which usually share or construct for themselves a sense of place." (Suttles 1972. Administrative areas such as an electoral ward or a metropolitan borough have been defined sometimes in arbitrary ways for a wide range of bureaucratic and political reasons. so frequently used to describe this feature of social life should be discarded or how it can be replaced. For however sophisticated one's analysis of the notion of community day to day work is likely to take place within geographical boundaries. (Menahem and Spiro 1989). for agriculture and industry. geographical and planning literature.various perspectives. the process known as Community profiling. Dennis 1968). and/or to a plurality of perspectives making no claims to be metanarratives. or neighbourhood appraisal. We shall first look briefly at the tradition of urban and neighbourhood studies as found in the sociological. We will move on from there to look at the battery of techniques available to practitioners wishing to carry out analysis of a particular local community. A second concern has been about relationships between places. Chapter Four: Understanding neighbourhood communities • • • • • • • • • Urbanism as a way of life The Chicago School Using census data Measuring segregation Neighbourhood profiling Qualitative information about neighbourhoods Participatory research Key books for Chapter Four Back to contents For most agencies and professionals engaged in community development or community practice a geographical rather than a sociological approach to community analysis is required. a concern . Out of this comes an interest in transportation. However our earlier discussion about the work of Cohen (1985) makes clear. but as a problematic or sensitizing notion it is here to stay. communities are socially constructed and their meanings should never be taken for granted in this way. Some urban researchers and practitioners therefore prefer to use only the term neighbourhood at least in respect of the topics dealt with in this chapter. patterns of mobility and the diffusion of ideas. It is hard to see why the everyday term community. common heritage or values or interests. technologies and cultural forms across space. with a particular emphasis on the work and influence of the Chicago school. Most of these intellectual streams of postmodernity have in some sense a place for. for financial centres and corporate headquarters buildings. or for slum housing and ethnic ghettos. or a relationship to. Our aim is to show that a statistical description of a locality combined with a local mapping exercise can help immensely in understanding neighbourhood life and in planning community work or local government policy. for desirable residential areas. One fundamental concern in geography and planning has been to explain why particular pieces of land come to be used for particular purposes. the notion of community. A grand theory of community may be for ever unattainable. the hierarchies of power and influence that exist between different types of settlements. or an urban neighbourhood bounded on all sides by waterways and railways as "natural communities. The concerns of geographers and urban planners have naturally enough been primarily spatial and locational. from the metropolitan megalopolis to the remote village. and to suggest some ways in which such research can be carried out. It is tempting to view many settlements. Purely at a geographical level one needs to be aware that territories designated as communities are often far from "natural". such as an isolated village.

superficiality and "anomie" leading to all the familiar social and psychological stresses associated with city living. Pahl's (1965) study of commuter villages in South East England for example shows how urban and rural orientations co-existed in a single location. man the town" is a dominant theme despite a Bible that ends in "a city of Gold" and the influence of Augustine's "City of God". The debates between Redfield (1930) and Lewis (1951. Wirth's conceptualisation of the urban. 1965) on the folk-urban continuum based on studies of Mexican village life are one well known variation on Wirth's theme. Harper (1989) reviews the literature on this theme and highlights the necessary change in emphasis towards area based studies covering economic restructuring of both city and countryside. that issues around urbanisation. For an overview of the state of the art in geographical approaches to community life the reader is referred to Herbert & Davies (1993). Newby's work on change in rural areas of England provides further evidence that rural life is increasingly urban in form and culture (1980. So even the idea of continuum does not work. secondly the higher density of residential settlement and thirdly the heterogeneity of the populations to be found in cities. Planners in particular have wanted to know how land use patterns and the design of the built environment affects patterns of social life. And even in the largest most impersonal cities personal network studies (Wellman 1979) show that most people have enough contacts to feel part of a community. Another way of capturing the idea that there is no categorical duality between city and village life was to talk about an urban-rural continuum. which tended to produce fragmentation. However. with its obvious links to Tonnies' Gemeinschaft / Gesellschaft duality. Louis Wirth's (1938) "Urbanism as a way of life" is one of the most often cited papers in the urban sociology literature and has had many expositors and defenders (e. firstly the larger dimensions of urban communities. for example is it the case that high rise apartment blocks tend to produce lower levels of sociability than terraced streets or twenty houses nestled around a village green. has been the problematic around which debate has centred. He suggests that the concept of urban culture is an ideological one. Wirth suggested that three main features distinguished urban life from rural. In western culture there appears to be a fundamental duality between the notions of rural and urban life with a strong value bias in favour of the former. Urbanism as a way of life It will be no surprise given the history of concerns about the loss of community. Community studies in various cities have repeatedly discovered evidence of Gemeinschaft forms of community. now speeded up so much by the development of information technology (Castells 1989).about communication between communities. Romantic reaction to the crisis of urban growth in nineteenth century Europe has made a profound impression. especially in working class neighbourhoods and ethnic villages. Wirth's organic evolutionary view of the city locates alienation in the psychological response to technology and complexity rather than in the oppressive relationships of production. urban sociologists and geographers in the late twentieth century have increasingly questioned the assumption of the rural urban divide.g. 1985). A folk theology that "God made the country. and gives the false "reassuring impression of an integrated society united in facing up to its common problems". and more recently counter-urbanisation have been high on the agenda of scholars and practitioners in the field. which masks the economic processes and class conflict which can be found in both city and country. which need not be geographically concentrated. stating that "capital will flow in a way which bears . Morris 1968). Another line of attack on Wirth's notion of urbanism has been that of Castells (1977). The result was a web of impersonal and instrumental relationships. Wirth's characterisation of the urban has also been critiqued by researchers who argue empirically that urban life "just ain't like that". and that estrangement and alienation from others is a feature of public life but not of private life (Fischer 1981). Harvey in his early work (1973) also takes a Marxist approach to the unjust allocation of resources between different neighbourhoods. The Bethnal Green studies of Young & Willmott (1957) and Gans (1962) work on urban villages in the USA and suburbanism as a way of life (1968) are only two out of many pieces of work which can be cited against Wirth.

Furthest out was the zone of affluent suburban commuters. The Chicago sociologists developed a range of methods from quantitative analysis to street corner ethnography to help them read what was going on in the city. the building had become a mosque for local Bangladeshis. Bulmer 1984) They attempted to map the social composition of the city in great detail. nothing short of comprehensive government control" can change this. Sectors were introduced into the model to allow for patterns of development that were not in concentric circles. In particular Harvey shows how the concept of community has itself become a marketable commodity.. leap-frogging over intermediate groups. A second key insight from the Chicago urban ecology model is that of invasion and succession. New groups then colonise the vacant inner area. A key concept for the Chicago school was urban ecology. commerce. Classically this pattern is seen in the geography of ethnic minority residence. and major arteries of transport. Park 1926. and that local and other community loyalties are often in struggle with the placeless individualism of money and capital. Their model of the city was one of concentric zones. in which Wirth was an important contributor. By 1980 as the Jewish Community had relocated in suburban areas such as Redbridge and Golders Green. ethnic ghettos and industries and warehouses. The next zone was the twilight zone / inner city slums. Just like a "fairy ring" of mushrooms one group of people establishes itself in an inner city neighbourhood. However. who as the 1990s progress are increasingly found five miles further east in Newham. The Chicago School Despite the critics. In "The Urban Experience" (1989) he recognizes the value of Wirth's conception and argues towards a synthesis where the "urbanisation of consciousness has to be understood in relation to the urbanisation of capital". modifications had to be made.g. it became a synagogue for Jewish refugees around 1900. in housing vacated by and outwardly mobile whites and Asians from Sikh and Hindu communities. (Burgess 1925. They examined how market forces were reflected in the price of land. Birmingham as a twilight zone (1967) and it is developed further in Rex & Tomlinson (1979). Beyond this came the zone of "working men's homes" stable if not affluent residential communities. Taken over by Methodists in the 18th Century. (Capitalism) is not consistent with the ends of social justice. Rex & Moore use the insights of the Chicago school in their classic study of Sparkbrook. a direct parallel with the ecology of plant communities. Burgess & McKenzie eds. 1925.. However. The context was one of a rapidly growing. They took as a model the notion of plant and animal life colonising apiece of land and saw how ecological processes led to a shifting balance in patterns of land use. for example to deal with natural barriers such as rivers and waterfronts. why for example in London as in so many British cities are the noxious industries and working class districts so concentrated to the East of the city centre. discussions of policy and practice in the community are still deeply influenced by the Chicago school of urban sociology. and how this led to different uses by government. and divided up the territory into a number of natural communities which are still reflected in the government of the city today. In East London a vivid example of the invasion succession process is seen in the often mentioned seventeenth century Huguenot Chapel in Brick Lane. and ethnically diverse industrial and commercial mega-city. industry and various groups of residents. Park. Al Capone) and the corruption in local politics suggested imminent social collapse. In the centre was the Central business district (in Chicago the Loop.. then as it prospers moves outwards. As a general if simplified model this fits the description of many Western cities in the mid twentieth century.little relationship to need or to the condition of the least advantaged territory. formed by the elevated railway system). where the presence of organised crime (e. their notion of housing class demands serious adjustment to the ecological model of urban land use in societies like Britain where municipal housing policy and the allocation of Council homes have overridden the natural ecological processes. . which grew up in that city in the early part of the twentieth century. while in the West affluent residential areas stretch outwards to the suburbs? Prevailing Westerly winds and sensitive upper class noses provide one clue.

The usual approach is to construct an index of deprivation combining key indicators of need selected from the census data. a version of which is used by the Church of England to assess parishes' eligibility for grants from the Church Urban Fund. Policy makers when allocating resources to districts and neighbourhoods would ideally like a simple formula to measure social need. who is to say whether the number of unemployed men. Secondly there is a growing tendency for Census data collection to be reduced in reliability by non-response and avoidance. The simplest practical technique for using census data in neighbourhood studies is to plot important variables onto local maps showing census tracts or enumeration districts.. (1995). 1995). it is important to bear in mind some of the limitations of census data. (1995) have produced a regression analysis model which accurately predicts the numbers of Income support claimants from five weighted census indicators. However. of rented housing. However it is easy to be submerged in an ocean of data. Researchers can work with data sets broken down into the smallest administrative districts or areas defined by postal codes or map references. proportion of elderly people. the obvious problem in constructing an index of deprivation is the choice of indicators. An alternative approach is to build a model in which a range of possible census indicators can be tested for their contribution to expalaining the variation in rates of a relevant variable measured at the same geographical area. e. and to choose indicators or threshold levels in arbitrary or controversial ways. Techniques for reducing census data to manageable proportions for policy purposes have long been available. However. before we summarise the most important approaches. or the number of children in single parent households should be included in such an index. or even with a random sample of anonymised individual records (Dale & Marsh 1993). These are then standardised statistically. Thirdly census organisers only collect the minimal amount of information related to the policy concerns of government. (Chi squared method) (Dept. For example Noble et al. it is still geographically determined and predominantly deals with people as residents. in terms of an area's difference from an overall average value (Z score method). of Environment 1994. As such it is intrinsically vulnerable to a statistical effect known as the ecological fallacy which is the mistaken tendency to infer that because a census tract has a high average score on a particular variable.Using census data The study of urban neighbourhoods in ecological terms depends extensively on the availability of quantitative data. of unemployment. Willmott ed (1994). Firstly Census data is usually only collected once in ten years and is almost always between three and twelve years out of date. for example in the England there is no census information on religion or language use. small households and rates of long . of old people living alone. most usually that collected by government Censuses of population. Factor analysis is a correlational technique which groups together variables which go together. an infuriating situation for students of communities in multicultural urban areas. A rather less arbitrary way to reduce the complexity of census data sets about neighbourhoods is to apply techniques such as factor analysis and cluster analysis to a wider range of census variables (Folwell 1993). say overcrowded housing that every resident of the neighbourhood suffers from this problem (Timms 1971. and if so what weight should they be given. rather than as people who spend different parts of their life in different places. Modern techniques of information technology allow area from small areas to be processed quite easily.g. or in relation to the difference between counted and expected numbers of particular categories of people in an area. Boddy et al. It becomes easy using computerised Geographic Information Systems to produce a huge set of maps showing areas with high proportions of ethnic groups. Geographers and planners have developed a range of sophisticated techniques to manipulate such data which provide valuable insights to anyone wishing to understand particular local neighbourhoods and their relation to wider urban tends (Willmott & Hutchinson (1992). especially by marginalised groups. Finally the output data from Censuses is usually at a geographically aggregated level. Blackman 1995). For example the UK 1991 Census is estimated to have failed to collect data on a million or more people and young black men are particularly under-represented (Simpson and Dorling 1994).

families and elderly people. according to their similarities or differences on a range of census indicators.97 5.90 22. Particular neighbourhoods can be located conceptually in these three dimensions according to the proportion of rich and poor. Timms 1971) has been applied to many American.64 35. 40.14 30.38 16.18 14.67 34. European and Australasian cities.09 36.94 4. The ID can be calculated at different areal levels though it is to be anticipated that it will increase in value as the size of the areas involved decrease.1 Indices of dissimilarity for ethnic groups in Newham IDS At ward level White White Black Asian Indian Pakistani Bangladeshi Caribbean African ED Level indices of dissimilarity for main ethnic categories Black White 25. In divided communities such as Belfast or South Africa under apartheid residential areas are often totally homogeneous. Social area analysis using this approach (Shevky & Bell 1955.99 34.88 30.74 * Indian 47.99 11.30 South Asians * Black 20.5 53. In this case statistical analysis of 1991 Census data revealed how patterns of deprivation in adjacent neighbourhoods related to ethnic composition and housing tenure. and singles.35 5. A commonly used technique is the Index of Dissimilarity (Peach 1975. owner occupied areas. Factor analysis and cluster analysis can be combined in substantive studies of a local community such as Newham.term limiting illness.47 * Pakis. Robinson & Smith 1981). Robson 1969. One widely replicated finding is that three dimensions of social class (affluence / poverty). 23. by summing the differences between the two groups in each sub area.63 35. An example from 1991 Census data for Newham is given in Table 4.72 * Carib. 46. Massey 1986).18 * Asian 44. but in this case it is areas that are grouped together. Peach. while lone parent households and low car ownership was more typical of white majority / above average African and Caribbean council estates. It ranges from 0% representing no segregation to 100% representing complete segregation and describes the percentage of one group which would have to move if there was to be no segregation between them. but housing conditions and overcrowding was greatest in predominantly Asian. ethnicity and family status can be empirically separated. the ID is one half the sum of these differences (ignoring their signs) and is often expressed as a percentage. Cluster analysis is a comparable data reduction method. black and white.67 33. An Index of Dissimilarity (ID) is calculated by comparing the percentage distributions of each group.93 33.32 31. (Smith 1996b). Measuring segregation A further area of concern which can be explored using Census data is that of ethnic and other social segregation.36 0.45 19. Table 4. In most Western cities the patterns are less clear cut.56 32.52 32 * African 16.44 * Bangla.1 to show how useful such an approach can be for understanding the interrelationship of neighbourhood community and ethnicity.39 * . Some form of deprivation and high unemployment was found in almost all areas. and policy makers are interested in measuring the extent of segregation and changes over time (Rex 1981.

One important recommendation of the Faith in the City Report in (ACUPA 1985) was that every local parish should conduct a parish audit. Until recently little has been published other than as very "grey" literature. and judging from my own experience it seems to have developed as an oral tradition among urban church and community workers. and Church Action on Poverty produced kits and the Evangelical Urban Training Project ran workshops with local congregations which aimed to "know your church. community organisations often have to rely on the goodwill of their contacts within local academic or local government bodies to obtain this sort of information. and freelance researchers rather than in the mainstream of the academic world. When the Census does not contain the required information it may be necessary to collect original data. More established organisations are sometimes able to employ research consultants to develop their case. and in lobbying for funding. During this period a number of networks of practitioners have been developing. health and social service professionals. community audits or similar research. a survival exercise on 1 a day. Fortunately there is now a growing literature and resource base to help in these tasks. discovering local life by networking. community surveys. More usually they decide to carry out small scale doit-yourself neighbourhood profiles. the threat of racial harassment in white Council estates and a historically racist allocations policy. In Newham. Everitt & Gibson 1994. as a result of a combination of factors including preference for owner occupation. More recently local authorities have been required to undertake needs assessment research in the context of . Huges & Percy Smith 1994.C. Community groups are unlikely to have the resources or skills to carry out quantitative studies first hand. Asians (and in particular Indians and Bangladeshis are more segregated from whites than are Caribbean blacks. black and (South) Asian at the ED level. and from a church perspective MKCF (1986) and Beckett (1991). The repertoire includes mapping an area. using and teaching a battery of techniques for local situational analysis deriving ultimately from some of the insights of the Chicago school. Segregation between Blacks and Asians falls in the intermediate range while segregation rates between ethnic categories within the Black and South Asian groupings is lowest of all. Increasingly funds for urban regeneration are being targeted at areas of evident deprivation and community organisations applying to government and charitable trusts are required to show a high level of appreciation of the nature and extent of local needs. Burton 1992. These figures show that there is a significant degree of ethnic residential segregation in Newham although it falls far short of the 80% plus figures reported at census tract level for "Negro ghettos" in U. or political change on behalf of a neighbourhood. Neighbourhood profiling Agencies involved in community work are have a specific interest in understanding census data about their locality in terms of making their own practice relevant to the residents. cities (Kantrowitz 1969). 1994.W. At a national level the Church of England worked closely with the Department of Environment to make census information from 1981 and 1991 available at the parish level. which would include both a congregational analysis and a neighbourhood profile. A.81 South Asians * IDs have been calculated for Newham for many of the pairings of seven of the census ethnic categories at the ward level and for the three grouped categories of white. Hawtin. Church organisations have played a vital role in this movement. For example the Urban Theology Unit in Sheffield. It is worth tracing in outline how the practice of such neighbourhood research has developed in the UK since about 1970.S. know your neighbourhood and know your gospel". using relevant census statistics. and (especially) African blacks. The most plausible explanation of these patterns rests on the general exclusion of South Asian households from Council housing.Black * 40. Since Census data now tends to be sold rather than given away by the agencies of the state. (Percy Smith 1992. interviewing key people and participation in local community groups. or even in experiential techniques like the "urban plunge".

health centres. and frustrating for the staff of an agency that works to officially demarcated boundaries. Computer software . or the invisible divide between Muslim and Hindu territory. Boundaries of the neighbourhood can be plotted. motorways. central places such as shopping streets and transport interchanges. maps. using the research technique of focus groups (Krueger 1994 ) is another valuable technique. whether the houses or flats and their gardens. and different types of housing style and tenure can also be colour coded. and facilities such as parks and open spaces can also be marked.community care policies (Blackman 1995) and are making use of or reinventing a similar repertoire of techniques. In a community development situation local people can be encouraged to respond to the representation provided by the map. There is no substitute for long term participant observation in a community and professionals who are serious about the "community" nature of their practice should always consider the benefits of taking long term local residence. Individuals may have very different mental maps of an area. At the opposite extreme is a full blown research process involving semi-structured in depth interviews of a large number of local people. mosques and community centres. Local public buildings such as shops. A full time community practitioner will be listening most of the time. Listening and asking questions of local people can be a very productive strategy for filling out a neighbourhood profile. it is usually helpful to supplement this with qualitative information. 1983). churches. residential uses should also be shown. such as the transition between owner occupied and rented housing. which seem rather arbitrary. Other boundaries are more psychological. Who uses the streets? Do different groups dominate at different times? What sort of interactions take place in different places? Are there typical or extraordinary incidents which betray the nature of the neighbourhood? Are there times and places which are evidently less safe than others? Obviously the keen observer of the streets in certain tough neighbourhoods needs to be "street-wise" enough to know when participant observation becomes a high risk strategy in terms of personal safety. the point beyond which local people are more likely to use an alternative shopping street or underground station. Initially one can note the physical appearance of the neighbourhood. listening to people and networking local agencies. pubs. We shall mention four of them. schools. the edge of the forest or a major park. and popular pedestrian routes between them and residences. Ideally the respondents should be a representative sample or at least a broad cross section of local people. rail tracks. But qualitative research techniques can also be used by outsiders. are well maintained or decaying. Reading the streets of a neighbourhood is a largely intuitive technique but can be developed to a high level of sophistication. and the interviews should be transcribed and analysed to bring out key themes and shared perspectives. A large scale map or model of a neighbourhood can be used to visualise and summarise a vast range of information. The public face of an area is seen in the range and condition of shops and other public buildings. in the quantity. Observing people in the street can become serious ethnography. In urban areas the lack of agreement on boundaries may be great. in signs and notices. and to comment as to whether it captures the reality of their lives. Industries and other non. Visual techniques such as photomontage or a home video record of a walk through the neighbourhood can help bring the map to life. Also on the map can be marked major through routes. a useful exercise is to ask a sample of residents to draw a line on a map representing what they see as their "patch" or "turf" (Pacione. language and content of graffiti. reading the streets. There is perhaps no better way of understanding a local community than walking to the local shops and sending one's children to the local school. but the listening may not be very systematic. Qualitative information about neighbourhoods While statistical information about neighbourhoods is essential for those who wish to serve their residents. but something less than that will suffice as a background to community work. if they have them. in some cases these are obvious barriers such as rivers. Listening to group discussion about community issues.

An Urban Social Geography" London. the opportunities for bottom up methods of community research are greater than ever before. Drawing up a list of all known groups. It has links with the established paradigm of action research (Lees & Smith 1975) and with the developing practice of Community Operational Research (Ritchie et al. Participatory research One important emphasis in neighbourhood research from the grass roots up. M Hughes. Of course participatory research is also cheaper. data input and presentation of findings in the context of lobbying. & Herbert D. Nicolls 1991) and can be used for action research and evaluation as well as for neighbourhood profiling. For example disabled people in Newham devised a survey of the views and needs of disabled and elderly people.. It tends if anything to favour qualitative rather than quantitative methods. Reynolds et Al. Local life would have little right to claim the title of community in the absence of community organisations. Chapter Five: Community studies. G Percy-Smith. (1994). interviewing. Marshall 1995. contacting them and talking about their work is in itself both enlightening. what constitutes a community organisation or voluntary activity.such as Text-base Alpha or Nudist can be used to facilitate the task of analysing transcripts (Tesch 1990). simply undertaking a mapping of the field is a valuable exercise for community practicioners and communitarian activists. Many attempts have been made to assess the levels and significance of voluntary activity in local communities (Chanan 1992. Belhaven Press. Mapping voluntary activity in a neighbourhood completes the picture of community life in a neighbourhood. Knight 1993). is that it has often sought to be both participatory and emancipatory. as information is shared and networks of relationships are built. 1994). and makes no apology for beginning from a critical value base. Community profiling: auditing social needs".K. Mikkelson 1995. how local does local have to be in the case of branches of wider organisations. Yet as community policies become more popular. user involvement and citizen empowerment rises up government agendas.T. which means not only cost savings but that where the findings are uncomfortable to policy makers it can be more easily dismissed! Key books for Chapter Four Hawtin. including designing questionnaires. 1994. Snowball networking. the ups and downs of a genre • • • • The classic community studies Ethnic minority communities Whither community studies Key books for chapter 5 .D. do we count a religious group with several daughter organisations for different age groups as one agency or many? However.. carried it out with minimal professional support and used its findings to influence local care in the community developments (Everitt & Gibson 1994). (1993) "Communities Within Cities. and an important part of community development. Open University Press Davies W. eds. As a research activity the attempt often gets bogged down in questions of definition. in which each agency contacted is asked to nominate further groups or individuals with whom it is in contact is a still more powerful method for discovering how a local neighbourhood community interrelates. J. The participatory research style derives form the Freirean tradition of community action in the Two Thirds world (Feuerstein 1988. Local residents and community group members have been involved at all stages. As a result it is not usually easily appreciated by official and bureaucratic agencies who tend to favour "objective" and "hard numerical" data. Buckingham.

• Back to contents Community studies as a sociological tradition can best be described as a genre rather than a subdiscipline. As an enterprise such work flourished in the middle decades of the twentieth century, and drew their inspiration from two main sources, the Chicago school and the social anthropology of late British Imperialism. The huge variety in method and findings and their relative paucity of theoretical analysis have earned them the description "The poor sociologist's substitute for the novel". (Glass 1966 p148). For the most part methods have been drawn from Anthropology rather than sociology, which has predisposed researchers to use qualitative, participant observation methods, and a structural functionalist theory. It is hard, given the nostalgic connotations, and ideological weight on the notion of community for a researcher interested in a given community, to avoid portraying it as static, harmonious, and functionally healthy. This has led in turn to a general neglect of historical perspectives and an emphasis on the folk / rural / or small town end of the continuum. In the UK the highpoint in the theory and practice of Community Studies is probably the publication of two books by Bell and Newby in the early 1970's. In the first (1971) they thoroughly reviewed the achievement and limitations of the genre to that point in time, and in the second (1974) they presented a collection of key papers from the international literature. Their critique of the genre was widely accepted as a powerful one. Community studies they argued were a rag bag of assorted observations of varying quality, there was no unifying approach, theory or method. In consequence the genre was non-cumulative and had little to offer to the development of sociological theory, or study of human society in general. Across the Atlantic Stein (1960) had already advanced a similar critique in his aptly title "Eclipse of Community". A consensus was growing around Stacey's (1969) suggestion of abandoning the "myth" of community and doing research on local social systems might be a better way forward. Other lines of attack can also be mounted. For example, researchers in the genre have never been able to study a representative sample of communities, they decide to work in a place where they already have contacts or involvement, or because it matches the main strands of their theoretical concerns, either as typical or esoteric. Marxist or Critical theory approaches will want to remedy the neglect of power and class relations, and to introduce black and minority perspectives. Feminists would argue that even a study which detailed the differing roles of men and women in a community is inadequate. They would want to see explicit analysis of male dominance and power, as a step towards emancipatory action for women in both public and domestic spheres (Dominelli 1990). A growing awareness of the difficulties arising from a purely local focus in studying urban society. As soon as research begins to make a serious attempt at economic structural analysis, for example in the work of the CDPs on the of the causes of deprivation in Canning Town, or Coventry (Loney 1983), it is impossible to proceed without examining historical and global processes. Explanations cannot be found in the locality alone, and solutions to local problems demand political action at the national or international level. Even Marxists found it hard to make connections between global theory and local reality or community action, except perhaps in Latin America through Freirean praxis, although Castells (1977) made a serious attempt to grapple with some major themes in a way which has inspired further work. (Mullins 1987). In the UK at least emphasis has moved onto the study of localities as opposed to communities (Cooke 1989). In the 1970s and 1980s comparative studies of local labour markets, or the patterns of social and demographic change, such as counter urbanisation and gentrification was more common than descriptive and analytic work on individual neighbourhoods or settlements (Harris ed. 1990, Robinson 1981, Bridge 1993a) . Much of the most recent research has been comparative work carried out by geographers and economists with a clear policy related agenda (Robson et al. 1994). However the 1990's may well provide an opportunity for "the rejuvenation of community studies",

a title used for an article by Martin Bulmer in 1985. Bulmer argues that one impetus for this is methodological in the development of the techniques of social network analysis. A second is policy driven, in that there is a wide consensus in Britain for the decentralisation of service delivery, and in favour of the provision of "care in the community". Increasingly community studies, or at least community profiles are needed by professionals in local authorities, health services and the voluntary sector to inform their practice as they move from an institutional base out into the community. Indeed it is significant that a very high proportion of references to "urban communities" on the Social Sciences Citation Index during the last five years are the work not of mainstream sociologists but of medical practitioners with interests such as epedemiology in cities and in ethnic groups, or of social work practitioners concerned with isolation of elderly people. (Moon 1990, MacIntyre et al 1993, Wenger 1994, Cattell 1995) The classic community studies If sociologists have been rather dismissive the general public have been avid consumers of popular community studies, particular if the community studied is their own. Photographic histories of local communities are prominently displayed, and presumably purchased in bookshops everywhere. TV documentaries often cover local community life, although it is perhaps more significant that the favourite genre of viewing for the mass market is the soap opera. Here one key element is the daily or weekly life of an imaginary local community, a community which for some viewers may become more significant and real than the one in which they live. "Neighbours" may evoke more concern than neighbours, issues in "East Enders" are more likely to be talked about than issues of the East End. There have been many more thorough attempts to describe the life of local communities in Britain from a journalistic rather than a truly sociological perspective. Some of these are very perceptive, and most contain useful empirical data. Among the most important for urban communities are Parker's "The People of Providence, (1983), Harrison's "Inside the Inner City" (1983), Dervla Murphy's "Tales from Two Cities (1987). However the authors make no claims to be social scientists and have little desire to add to the theoretical understanding of communities. Serious claims to be included in the sociological genre of community studies can only be made for publications based on extensive sociological research. Bell and Newby's two books (1971, 1974) are a more than adequate introduction to the major trends in community studies in the mid twentieth century and the contributions to the latter volume by Elias (1973), Arensberg and Kimball (1967), and Simpson (1965) are particularly interesting. A summary of the field from the same period is found in Worsley (1970). Crow and Allan (1994) offers a more up to date coverage of the field with an emphasis on the impact of economic restructuring, mobility and the growth of home ownership, while Davies and Herbert (1993) is comprehensive from an urban studies perspective. It will not be possible here to do anything more than refer to a selection of the often cited studies from North America and Britain. In order to appreciate the findings of each the reader will need to access the original sources, and the evaluation of many of them found in the books cited above. The American tradition of community studies begins in "typical small towns" with the Lynd's study of Middletown first reported in 1929 and revisited in 1937. Changing readings of the same local story are presented by Hoover (1989). The Yankee City studies led by Lloyd Warner (1941) are a massive corpus, Questions of race and ethnicity appear quite early in the American literature. The classic study of racism in a Mississippi community is "Deep South" (Davis et al 1941). The work of Gans in the Italian community in Boston has already been mentioned (1962). Urban community studies in the USA are dominated by social ecologists of the Chicago school. Besides overview work on the city (Park, Burgess & McKenzie 1925), the neighbourhood focus comes through in such studies as the Ghetto (Wirth 1928), the Gold Coast and the Slum (Zorbaugh 1976 first published several decades earlier) and Whyte's Street Corner Society (1955). Suttles "Social order of the Slum" (1968) carries on the Chicago tradition into the era of the American urban crisis and the war on Poverty. Gans' second major work on the Levittowners (1968) moved the focus to the suburbs and showed how the rapidly emerging and seemingly vibrant organisational life of a new housing estate sifted the residents into a limited range of community

activity and low level of local identification. In Canada too social scientists have developed an interest in community studies of which "Crestwood Heights" is the best known suburban example. (Seely et al (1963). However some of the most significant Canadian work, that of Wellman and his colleagues will be covered in more detail in the section on network analysis in Chapter 7 There is a similar diverse tradition of community studies in the British Isles; Crow and Allan's (1994) book begins with a map and list of 55 key published sources. Frankenberg (1966) gives a handy summary of much of the early work which includes his own study of a Welsh village (1957). His account begins with rural studies in Ireland (Arensberg 1939 and Arensberg & Kimball 1940), in Wales (Rees 1951) and Gosforth in Cumbria, England (Williams 1956). The study of a Yorkshire mining village (Dennis, Henriques and Slaughter 1956) is set alongside Stacey's study of Banbury (1960 revisited in Stacey et al 1975) and Birch's work on Glossop (1959). Urban housing estate studies are represented by work in Liverpool by Lupton and Mitchell (1954), in Sheffield by Hodges & Smith (1954) and the well known Watling study by Durant (1959). The urban section of Frankenberg's morphological continuum is based on the work of the Institute of Community studies (see below.) Subsequent rural village and small town studies of note include Littlejohn's (1963) study of a Cheviot parish, Harris' (1972) study of an Ulster border community, Gilligan's (1990) report on change in the Cornish town of Padstow, and the account of a Shetland fishing community by Cohen (1987). Change as a result of inmigration has often been found worthy of study for example in the work of Elias and Scotson (1965) and more recently in a rural setting in Day and Murdoch (1993). The dominant stream in urban community studies in the UK has been that centred on East London and associated with Michael Young, Peter Willmott and their associates at the Institute of Community Studies. Their research has concentrated on family, kinship, neighbours and friends as the foundation of local community. The classic study on family and kinship in Bethnal Green (Young & Willmott 1957) was followed up by research on suburban Greenleigh (1960) (showing some similarities to Levittown). Their next study on the evolution of community in the Dagenham estate (1963), traced the effects of the large scale outmigration of post-war years. An evaluation of the work of the Institute was published by Platt (1971). Willmott and Young's influence remains in East London even in the myths and images held by local people. Cornwell's (1984) study focussed on health and illness, while Phil Cohen's work from a cultural studies perspective (1972) looked at change and ethnicity in the area and more recently at how local people redefine and imagine their communities and identities (Cohen, Quereshi & Toon 1995). The Dagenham study has also been revisited after three decades by O'Brien (1996). Broad brush community studies of other large scale urban areas are comparatively rare. Jackson's work in Huddersfield (1968) struggles to get beyond the sterotypical warm beer flavour of Northern working class life. Birmingham is represented by the Sparkbrook Study (Rex 1968, Rex & Moore 1967), and by Handsworth (Rex & Tomlinson 1979). South London is the scene of Foster's ethnographic study of crime in the community (1990). Sandra Wallman and associates have produced a substantial corpus of research on neighbourhood life in South West London (1982, 1984), from a social anthropology viewpoint. The impact of social and economic change on local communities is addressed in Moore's work on the impact of oil in Peterhead (1982) and Newby's (1980) work in rural East Anglia, as well as in case studies of such places as Swindon, Lancaster and Thanet in Cooke's 1987 collection. In a class of its own so far appears to be Revill's (1993) paper on "Reading Rosehill" an inner area of Derby. Here we see an avowedly postmodernist approach to the culture(s) of a neighbourhood. Ethnic minority communities In recent years community studies in urban Britain have concentrated on the (changing) cultures of ethnic minority communities. Patterson (1965) deals with the early days of settlement in Britain while Pryce (1979) is based on participant observation of West-Indian life in Bristol.

determine their lives. The project was unique in that it's focus was on communities defined by minority language use. We can conceptualise the six crucial levels involved using the model laid out below in Table 5.Anwar's (1979) study of Pakistanis in Rochdale is one of the most significant and makes effective use of social network analysis. For example religion in Europe until recently.g. in order to give the most adequate possible account of what Stacey (1969) described as a local social system. A local social system. Above the line the systems / spheres / levels claim (and sometimes achieve) a universal sovereignty within their spheres and territories over everyone and everything at inferior levels. on Gujeratis (Tambs Lyche 1980). but has relationships of conflict and collaboration with systems and structures operating in various spheres at different levels. and ultimately have coercive powers. use social survey techniques to paint a broad brush picture. Conversely a voluntary organisation (e. For a nation state could have a tiny territory. Whither community studies Despite the critique and evident inadequacies of the community studies genre. political and social forces exerted between the levels mean that the degree of autonomy / control that any level has over its own sphere. Sikhs (Ballard & Ballard 1977) and collections of essays such as Watson (1977). it is likely to be making a come-back thanks to the increased emphasis on community policies. Clearly the boundaries between the levels are not always discrete and obvious. GreenPeace).K. space or with different issues. but the focus is restricted largely to local politics. Kosmin's various studies of Jewish communities in the U. Or perhaps they have only the illusion of freedom. and the economic. The lower levels would generally be recognised as the sphere of "community" although with the growth of community policy means that at least level 3 also has some claim to be included.1 HERE ******************************************************* The line between levels 3 & 4 symbolises an important difference between the higher and lower levels. The Linguistic Minorities Project (1985) (in which the author worked) tried to develop these methods in the Adult Language Use Survey. *************************************************: INSERT Table 5. There is a linkage between this and the communitarian emphasis on subsidiarity in decision making. rather than definitions based on race. Eade (1989) is concerned with Bangladeshis in east London. particularly in a modern urban setting is not a closed system. indeed that seems to be the trend in Europe even without Lichenstein and the Vatican City. given the constraints imposed by the higher levels. It also needs to be pointed out that the middle line is not to be seen as a separation of geographical levels. Current political conflicts in Britain are eroding the importance of level 3 by transferring functions formerly assigned to the . social and cultural structures and forces which shape. or even a family can be thoroughly international. or as some would argue. networks and organisations have a large measure of freedom of association and choice about their actions. carried out in 11 languages in three British cities. and the growing impact of communitarian philosophy. Below the line we meet voluntarism and plurality where individuals. and the economic. and pioneered the involvement of local community members as partners and interviewers in the research process (Kosmin & De Lange 1979). or over other spheres may vary over time. Most of these either concentrate on specific aspects of ethnic minority life and/or use traditional techniques of participant observation to describe and elucidate the processes subsequent to migration. a church. The following section attempts to sketch out a model or theoretical framework to guide community research. There are other studies from an anthropolgical perspective on Pakistanis (Saifullah Khan 1977).1. (in Eastern Europe until very recently) was located at level 2 rather than level 4. religion or ethnicity.

personal or face to face level only occur either within a single level or between adjoining levels. workmates. some are mainly in one direction and some are expressed through different media than others. committee members. with communication through mass media and bureaucracy The local state (or local manifestations of National state) as voters. clients or students.. advertising etc). council tax payers. The state as tax payers. Usually by face to face contact The voluntary sector relates to The global economy as consumers (of computers. but that the network is not complete . and the sense of resignation with which individuals and local grass roots communities. on paper and in offices Voluntary organisations as members. lobbyists. by petitions or mass lobbies The local state. This is one of the root causes of powerlessness. fillers in of forms. as particular personal networks within municipal structures. offices etc. some are stronger than others. with communication through mass media. volunteers.. Thus Individuals relate to. unemployment and the environmental crisis. which are impossible to challenge and change. occasionally now as economic development agencies : . (mediated through the local labour market. Networks sometimes grow into organisations and organisations sometimes become relational networks as friendships are formed (cliques). service users. clients of social services.). as workmates in industrial conflict . claimants. as next of kin / carers / parents of patients.. tenants. In the vast majority of ties there is an inevitable power imbalance between the parties which cannot be ignored in any serious analysis. friends.. (non)workers. trade unions and campaigning groups e. immigrants/citizens. some ties are missing. clients who are often recruited through such informal networks by word of mouth. The Thatcherite vision of the 1980's tended to magnify levels 1 (market forces) and level 6 (individuals) by eliminating the remaining levels (labelled "society"). as fund seekers and image enhancer / conscience for companies. The global economy as consumers. The national state: as branches of political parties..local state to levels 2 & 4. especially but not only in deprived neighbourhoods. fundraisers & givers with communication through face to face meeting and bureaucracy Relational networks as neighbours. The most important point is that there is a network of relationships between the different levels. respond to issues such as poverty. migrants. using petitions. relatives with communication through face to face meeting + phone Relational networks relate to The global economy: when as consumers they reinforce mass media marketing by personal endorsement of products. students. customers of environmental services. Relations crossing two or more levels are far more likely to be perceived as impersonal social forces. volunteers.. voters. patients with communication through bureaucracy. clients. by becoming local pressure groups on specific issues. subjects under the law..g. As a general principle relationships at a direct. letter writing campaigns or as a group visiting a councillor Voluntary sector: as members. house owners.

wishing to provide an overall account of a local social system needs to consider what is happening at each of the six levels. There are also important patterns of horizontal relationships at especially in the lower levels of the model. often also with personal contacts The national state as lobbyist / pressure group. which is the subject of our next chapter. provider of (enabler of) local services: usually by formal and bureaucratic contact The global economy as consumer. investor. It also introduces the concept of network analysis..usually by writing. Allen & Unwin . as employer. An Introduction To Local Social Relations". "Community Life. fund seeker. It is of course also possible to discover and study these kind of relationships at the high levels. but increasingly in economic development using personal networks with business leaders The national state relates to the global economy as economic manager. London.: by written bureaucratic methods The local state as lobbyist / pressure group. neighbours and workmates. fundseeker. as organisations under charity law etc. London Harvester Wheatsheaf. as contract provider of services. or in the form of an umbrella body or forum of agencies. but with Right Wing governments there are often personal ties (of the Old School variety!) and common interest if not corruption between capital and government. as contract provider of services. political party or religious denomination. they can and should be studied if we are to understand the local social system as a whole. investor. The purpose of this relational model is to suggest that any community study. Bell C & Newby H. for example.. (1971) "Community Studies. employer. and Allan G. fund seeker. More significant are the horizontal relationships in a local social system between organisations in the voluntary sector. or just a network held together by dyadic ties. and be way beyond the resources of most imaginable community studies. informal groups or networks and institutions. In so far as there are boundaries to informal networks they are concepts of the researcher. through Europe: In theory by formal bureaucratic means. An Introduction To The Sociology Of The Local Community". such as branches of a larger body. friendships. of relationships between individuals. as lobbyist for investment. Whether they are formally structured. devices to make the research task manageable.. It is almost tautologous within the model to say that individuals and households relate to other individuals and households in networks of Kin. educator: usually by formal written media. and wherever possible the interactions between them. It is also obvious that such networks are not usually self contained but are usually connected if only through a small number of bridge people with other networks of personal relationships. Key books for chapter 5 Crow G. between different departments of local or national government. It highlights the existence of a complex network structure. by personal networks of influence among officers and councillors: by written bureaucratic methods The local state relates to The national state as lobbyist / opposition. or between different companies in the capitalist system but that would go beyond our local field of interest. consumer. (1994).

mainly at the neighbourhood / parish level (but some wider structures) 5) Relational level... informal networks of neighbours. most of the 20th Century sociological discussion of "community" has explicitly or implicitly taken this framework.. information based world of today. The crucial periods for loss of community would be seen as the rapid urbanisation of the nineteenth century and the communications explosion of the second half of the twentieth.. "Saved" or "Liberated". government. However. when empirical work seeks to show that neighbourhood and kinship based helping and support . sample survey or social network analysis the recurring question is whether Community has been "Lost". that in the old days everyone helped each other and left their front doors open without fear of crime. as faulty in its periodisation.Bell C & Newby H. as based on false nostalgia. eds. taxation. and as re-imposing Tonnies's conservative values on concepts which he would have preferred to see as ahistorical ideal types of social organisation. service delivery. Wellman 1979. They see and regret that (post)modern people are fundamentally and perhaps irretrievably privatised. It is extremely difficult to evaluate from historical data whether such images amount to anything more than romantic nostalgia. which largely rests on the old Tonnies' duality as a starting point.. Of course this reading of history can be critiqued as an ideological construct of capitalism entering a period of global crisis. The community lost hypothesis is the "commonsense" or rather received wisdom one.. Etzioni (1994 p116 ff) explicitly affirms his debt to Tonnies for the paradigm of Gemeinschaft / Gesellschaft and shares his sense of loss which results from the transformation between traditional and modern forms of social life.1 1) Global Economic / International Capitalism 2) National Political. neighbours and the social fabric • • • • • • Social network analysis Network analysis in community studies Neighbourhood networks: a case study Building neighbourhood community Key books for chapter 6 Back to contents Communitarians often assume or assert that the spirit of community needs to be rebuilt.. kin 6) The privatised household / individual Chapter Six: Community lost? Networks.. friends. Willmott 1987. Indeed it has proved a fruitful paradigm for empirical research.. Bell & Newby 1971 & 1973). and researchers speak of "communities of limited liability" (Janowitz 1967). other statutory bodies with local manifestations 4) Voluntary Organisation & religion. workmates. as ignoring the contribution of and oppression of women. Sometimes in contrast the "community saved" hypothesis is brought to bear. There is also some evidence that contemporary neighbourhood interaction and solidarity is limited. This reading of history suggests a continuing process from the traditional/ folk / rural society through the modern / industrial urban form to the rapidly changing post industrial or postmodern. Yet recent neighbourhood studies in urban areas so seem to indicate such perceptions are widespread among older residents. law etc 3) The Local State. (Craven & Wellman 1973. (1974) "The Sociology of Community. a selection of readings" London: Frank Cass ---------------------------------------------------------------------------Table 5. Whether the methods used have been participant observation. that there is no sense of community any longer..

which on the one hand recognises that neighbourhood networks may not be very strong. as well as different types of link. such as companies or voluntary organisations. Barnes in a study of a Norwegian fishing village (1954) was the first to make a connection between the concept of social network and the branch of mathematics called "graph theory". or the spread of disease such as HIV/AIDs through a population (Klovdahl 1985). shared ethnicity or religious belonging. Using questionnaires and/or observational methods researchers can map the patterns of interaction and communication. In other fields network analysis methods have proved a powerful technique for mapping the diffusion of innovations. while people generally are far from isolated. friendship or kinship. More usually though ambiguous findings in urban research push the researchers to argue for the "community liberated" hypothesis. in an attempt to evaluate the added value of networking in urban mission and community work. intensity. or affiliations to organisations are entered as spreadsheets (Burt 1991. Craven & Wellman 1973). In sociology Network analysis was used in empirical studies of the "small world problem" (Travers and Milgram 1969).networks remain strong in a particular locality (Gans 1962). their density. For such tasks as job search it was better to have an extensive network of casual acquaintances than a dense close knit network of relatives and friends. geography and significance across a whole social system. The programs can identify . Network analysis was also used to examine the interlocking directorships of major companies in particular industry. It was introduced to social anthropologists by Elizabeth Bott (1957). the techniques began to make research reports incomprehensible to all but the specialist. 1969). Everett & Freeman 1994). particularly in gathering information by word of mouth. Access to markets and thence profitability was shown to depend on very much on who you know. For example work in progress in Newham is seeking to map the linkages between religious groups. such as buying. The notion of a web of relationships can be applied to individuals or larger social units. and mathematical sociology became popular in North America. It can also take account of varying strengths of relationships. It transpired that most people had networks which enabled a communication to be passed to an unknown named individual on the other side of the USA in no more than half a dozen links in a chain of personal contacts. Broadly speaking if all one's friends. Using this technique analysis can move beyond the level of the individual and aggregated data. She studied families in London and suggested that the best explanation of degree of segregation between the lifes of men and women in couples. and the referral patterns between voluntary sector caring agencies. and maintain a wide range of supportive and enriching relationships. Borgatti. A whole school of social anthropologists centred around Barnes and Mitchell at Manchester university developed the techniques in the process of researching urbanisation processes in various parts of Africa. Sociolinguists such as Milroy in Belfast (1980) and Gal in Austria (1979) used network analysis techniques to predict linguistic variation and language choice in bilingual settings. was the "connectedness" of their networks of relationships. giving. Computer programs such as Structure and Ucinet have been developed to handle large data matrices in which relationships between actors. Granovetter (1973) showed how weak ties had a strength of their own. kinship and practical support.. neighbours and kin knew and related with each other it was much likely that spouses would tend to lead separate lives and have clear role divisions in household tasks and roles. The basic concept of social network analysis was picked up from the sociogram technique used by psychologists in small group studies mapping friendship choices. and renamed Bott's concept of "connectedness" as "density". talking to. (Mitchell ed. which is based more on community of interest. As computer power increased. Social network analysis Many of the recent studies of the community question use the powerful analytical tool of social network analysis as a way of clarifying patterns of human relationship (Scott 1992. Couples with less connected networks were more likely to live shared social and domestic lives. Mobility and telecommunications has allowed the growth and maintenance of geographically dispersed networks of friendship.

stereotypical working class community networks were hard to find. clusters and cliques in the networks. and his attempt to construct a sociological theory of local community. and Cohen and Shinar have carried out a similar study in Jerusalem (1985). Romney & White (1989) is impenetrable to the non-mathemetician and best serves as a warning for anyone tempted to seduction by the techniques. The main thrust of his findings are similar to Abrams. For example Oliver (1988) uses Wellman's approach as a basis for a very insightful study of the black community in Los Angeles. as one cannot rely on informal networks and altruism to meet all the needs. The social policy implication is that resources and organisation for neighbourhood care schemes need to be found from public funds. The research programme headed by Philip Abrams in the late 1970s . 1993b). it is worth raising the question as to whether this is a function of the high level of motorised mobility typical of North America. It is important to point out that the concept of network is used far more often in the literature than the actual method of mapping relational data. neighbouring and local networks has been developed in the UK. Even in such situations it was based more on kinship or friendship than on neighbouring. and whether his optimism is shaped by a value system based on individual liberalism. North London (1987).early 1980's (Abrams/ Bulmer 1986). and references to networks are often no more than a listing of contacts given as significant others (alters) by each respondent (ego). Wellman & Wellman 1992) . using network analysis as a valuable tool (Wellman 1979.components. Most of the studies mentioned in the next section in fact rely on survey data collected at the individual level. But for a while the idea lay dormant except in the discipline of social anthropology. Then research work in Toronto by Wellman and associates brought local community studies back on to the agenda. and lacking such support were vulnerable to stress and breakdown. The research showed that only in a minority of atypical neighbourhoods were informal networks strong enough and "neighbourly enough" to form the basis of adequate reciprocal care. a form of friendship. Other academics in the field have drawn similar conclusions (e. However the notion of network is not fully developed by either Abrams or Willmott since there . and indicate which individual actors are key nodes or powerful gatekeepers in the network. calculate densities of relationship within the whole or part of the data set. Wellman & Wortley 1990. The focus in this work was the evaluation of neighbourhood care schemes and a study of the social basis of community care. Indeed a minority of working class people had neither relatives nearby nor local friends.g. but the main surprise is that while middle class people maintain active networks of geographically dispersed kin and local friends. Peter Willmott has also worked on the theme of friendship. One program Krackplot can even turn the matrix data back into visual representations of the familiar sociogram type! Scott (1992) is a good general introduction to the method and its possibilities. measure distances and describe paths between any pair of connected individuals. The theme of neighbours. Network analysis in community studies Frankenberg (1966) was probably the first scholar to integrate the notion of social network into the genre of community studies. and neighbours as helping networks in the context of community care policy with a literature review (1986) and a survey in Edgware. and neighbourliness as the positive and committed relationship between neighbours. The approach has been replicated in other North American settings. Clarke 1982). However. Abrams helpfully distinguished concepts of neighbouring as the actual pattern of interaction in a neighbourhood. mainly in the context of community care. West London (1993a. In Britain there seems to be little current interest except in Bridge's study of gentrification processes in Sands End. It is only where information about relationships between two or more alters is available that true network analysis procedures can begin. while the collection edited by Freeman. Wellman's work generally tends to support the community liberated hypothesis and shows that most people do have extensive social support networks even if they are scattered across the urban area.

belonging and participation produced some ambivalent answers. dense or strong. Inter ethnic friendship was rare and almost unheard of among the older respondents.9 neighbours. 1995). A detailed examination by network analysis techniques of the interrelationships of 118 people recorded in this sampling procedure revealed only one small group of four old people who formed a clique of mutual referral. Of 90 people contacted only 29 (32%) were able or willing to recommend names of relatives. Friends were likely to be of the same gender. if not altogether absent. In fact of 210 persons named as friends by the 67 . Only 37% of the relatives were seen at least weekly. and three cases of reciprocal referral by pairs of female kin. but less friends than younger respondents. but only 11% saw it as a strong friendly community. and 25% who said all their listed friends knew each other. Only a third belonged to more than the one community group through which they had been contacted. This low level of connectedness is even more striking given the fact that the original sampling lists represented contacts belonging to a small number of membership organisations. Of course none of this information purports to measure strength or frequency of relationship. Other typical "inner city problems" such as unemployment. homelessness and high rates of physical and mental illness are also found. For adults. However. Older respondents had considerably more kin and neighbours. The network data is ego-centric. compared with 44% who said all their listed neighbours knew each other. and people were more likely to say they went to church (30%) than to pubs (28%) or sporting events (19%)). (Smith 1994. and age group as the respondent. compared with 70% of the friends. 60% of respondents said all their listed kin were in touch with each other. 18% of respondents could list no friends and 20% knew no neighbours well enough to list them. Indeed only one person in three said they knew their neighbours very well. high crime rates. Interestingly in an earlier larger and more representative local survey replies to these questions were very similar. However almost all the respondents with children reported their children had been involved in some local community activity. gives further weight to the view that community is likely to be fragmented. racial violence. neighbours and friends was designed and a survey of 67 Newham residents was carried out in 1993 with the help of a group of medical students. and even references to the role of mutual aid and self help groups do not involve the analysis of relational data. Responses to questions about community identity. Neighbourhood networks: a case study One recent piece of research along these lines conducted by the author in East London tends started from the community lost hypothesis which is frequently expressed by local residents (Smith unpublished). and especially older people the preference for a quiet privatised lifestyle is clear. Although the vast majority of friends mentioned were living locally and seen at least weekly there appeared to be little interlinking between respondents friendship networks. Personal networks did not appear to be very extensive. Respondents reported they were in touch with an average of 3. The snowball sampling procedure itself showed that for many people the number and strength of their local network ties was extremely limited. Background knowledge about the are such as its ethnic diversity. and 2. A questionnaire asking about support networks of kin. Only a third of the relatives mentioned were living in Newham.6 kin (outside their own household). The sample of respondents was recruited by a networking process starting from contacts suggested by voluntary sector and church workers in the area.3 friends. 3. Griffiths / LBN 1994).has been no attempt to gather or analyse truly relational data. friends or neighbours in the locality who could be approached for interview and who they thought were likely to be at home in the day-time during the week. Network connections between the significant others mentioned by respondents were rare with the exception of mutual contact between kin. Even Wenger's recent research and typology of the networks of older people is based on individual social work cases (1994. Nearly 70% liked living in the neighbourhood.

In the absence of longitudinal data. In contrast friendship is a matter of choice and centres on mutual interests and general sociability. 1989). (Abrams/Bulmer 1985. leading in the best friendships to emotional support and intimacy. many of whom live in neighbourhoods less than a mile away. The patterns of personal support and helping relationships experienced by the respondents differed little in quality from those reported by earlier research. and from those who had lots of friends. Most people expressed high levels of contentment / happiness satisfaction with their lives. Networks are far from dense and ties especially between neighbours are far from strong. This is not really much of a change since even in the "good old days" in the East End it was a rare privilege for a neighbour to cross the threshold (Young & Willmott 1957). In Newham as elsewhere they usually fall on female kin. There is no reason to suggest these findings are untypical of British urban neighbourhoods. Indeed one common expectation of neighbours in British culture is to keep a respectful distance while being friendly. The moral questions posed by communitarianism interact with the empirical work on personal networks at a number of points. Only about one in ten of the respondents were receiving regular help from professional sources. compared with only 20% who could turn to neighbours. Willmott 1987). Further more very different. Communitarian concerns with family responsibilities. and helpful in emergencies (Abrams/Bulmer 1986). But are communitarians going to call for the "gathering of the clans" demand that extended families stay or relocate in a single locality? This would fly in the face of economic and cultural forces and could reinforce sexist assumptions about women's caring role. even if the people involved live far apart. Indeed neighbours seemed relatively insignificant to most people and only 10% of the ones mentioned ever came inside the respondent's home. is marked by its relative absence. remain strong.respondents detailed examination of the identifying variables in the data suggests that they were at least 196 different individuals. at least for the people interviewed. However even these limited findings are an indication that neighbourhood community. and with the prevalence of nostalgia in reports of life three or four decades earlier. Or are they going to advocate and build local community networks of . although over a quarter of them had received nursing type care from friends or more usually relatives. and quite possibly stronger networks of social support might well be found in a similar survey of the Asian communities. Even for the proverbial "borrowing a cup of sugar" less than one in five had recently been helped by a neighbour and only another one in five thought they could approach a neighbour. despite living in a deprived urban area. Building neighbourhood community If similar research findings can be produced from other contexts the pessimistic view of the communitarians will be endorsed and their case for strategies to rebuild community will be strengthened. and the importance of parenting are confronted with clear evidence of dispersal of extended families. it would be unsafe to suggest that this research supports conclusively the community lost hypothesis. On this albeit imperfect measure. integration into local friendship and neighbour networks seems to have some social and psychological benefits. If however the optimistic community liberated hypothesis can be widely substantiated then the empirical evidence for the communitarian project will be that much weaker. Projects to improve parenting skills and support through praoctive building of networks are already under way. especially for heavy and personal caring. (Cochran et al. The scarcity of duplicate mentions suggests a very low density of friendship networks connecting respondents in this urban neighbourhood. The highest scores came from older long term residents. Kinship obligations. Over half the respondents felt they could turn to relatives and/or friends for routine help or support of more than one type.

support and care on the basis of mutual aid? While baby sitting networks might be viable. The question of neighbouring may be a crucial one for communitarianism. and involvement with local peer groups in and out of school may be the best hope for those who want to see neighbourhoods as centres of solidarity and mutual help (Henderson ed 1995). the anonymity and mobility of urban society and the culture of "stranger danger" which parents inculcate in their offspring (Hillman 1993). (Kennedy 1984). with whoever happens to live on the block. (1986) "Neighbours. increasingly significant personal relationships are typified not by neighbouring. at least in the UK. Normally individual neighbours are not chosen. Even more damaging is parental fear of allowing children out in the street unsupervised. Schools can often be a major focus for local community building. Growing motor traffic is a major factor. the challenge of community building in privatised and fragmented postmodern societies is immense indeed. most people are reluctant to allow anyone other than kin. If attitudes derived from consumerism are becoming dominant in residential location choice and even in intimate networks of belonging and identity. Generic neighbourhood community associations rarely engender great enthusiasm or high levels of participation. whatever the results of network analysis in terms of the number and nature of links between people in the contemporary urban world. with their limited mobility. However increased parental choice in schooling. or medical professionals to intervene in such a private sphere of life. In consequence parents spend a high proportion of their life as taxi drivers. even by residents who are rich enough to purchase a home in a specified type of community from which people unlike themselves can be excluded. Key books for chapter 6 Scott J (1992) "Social Network Analysis". London. can detract from this as children commute further. the work of Philip Abrams" Cambridge University Press Chapter Seven: Communities of identity • • • • • • • Communities of identity Ethnicity Language and identity Religion and community Other communities of identity On the notion of fragmentation Back to contents Communities of identity In the previous chapter we moved towards the conclusion that. in the Wellman tradition suggests that existing social networks play little or no part in dissuading people to move neighbourhoods. Quality of housing and environment were much more important. are unlikely to have much time or energy for involvement. local neighbourhood community ties are not as important as they were in earlier ages. and even children come to be involved in friendships with selected others rather than in neighbouring relationships. Yet. Communitarian values in contrast suggest. The communitarian concern with children and schooling is also significant here. Although they may do better in North America. One piece of empirical work from Edmonton Canada. that one should take responsibilities for good neighbourliness very seriously. and families where both or the only parent(s) are in paid employment.. which contrasts so grimly with their own experience as "baby-boomers". as we shall see in the next chapter. but by friendship and friendship usually comes about by choice. Sage Abrams P / Bulmer M. the research evidence seems to show that for intimate personal care. and the private car is also implicated in the lack of contact with neighbours. . in both cultures communities of identity and special interest are more likely to flourish. Indeed children.

when compared with the traditional Gemeinschaft model is that belonging and identity are to a great extent matters of individual choice.However other forms of networking flourish and it is to these communities of interest. networks among minority and migrant groups are more likely to be in a state of flux (Saifullah Khan 1982. rub shoulders within a single polity. One striking feature about such communities. If the incomers are black. Arguably the growing significance of Islam as a marker of ethnic / community identity in Britain is a result of this process (Samad 1994. It is of course new technologies and the process of globalisation that has led to such plural societies in most (post)modern cities. the Asian Community. Rapid air transport means that more people than ever before are moving around the world seeking their fortunes. which if not always easily marketable. Where a neighbourhood has received migrants from different cultural backgrounds the longer established (usually in the British context white working class people) are likely to feel their territory has been invaded and that the culture and bonds of their traditional community has been eroded. Knott & Khoker 1993). contact with friends and relatives in different parts of the world. (Husband 1994) At the same time minorities. Increased long distance migration means that urban neighbourhoods contain increasingly diverse populations. whether they like it or not will be labeled by the majority as "communities". where the deprivation they endure is at its worst and when large scale neighbourhood change is being imposed from the outside. Decisions made. As a result the most obvious common manifestation of the plural society is ethnic diversity. where groups of people with ancestral and/or cultural roots which were traditionally isolated from each other. before turning to language. as well as daily interaction with a cosmopolitan range of neighbours. In the post modern world even community can become a commodity. but we shall concentrate for now on ethnicity and community. who can continue to maintain occasional face to face. Poverty and civil war in Uganda and Somalia. Cheap exploited labour in the East Asia. produce refugees who arrive in East London. attachment or identity that we now turn. education and social services. made possible by Western arms suppliers. have massive impacts on the lives of millions of powerless people in particular local neighbourhoods throughout the world. Capital and information can be moved around the world instantaneously at the push of a few keys on a computer terminal. the Chinese Community). Although the dominant group may wish to lump all the newcomers together as "them" or to see minorities in terms of a small number of fixed categories which perceived as permanent groups (e. is deeply influenced by the ethos of consumerism. Smith 1983). for example in London Docklands in the early 1990's. employment and education will arise. Ethnicity In multiethnic cities. religion and sub-cultures. putting extra strain on housing. and more frequent phone. Pluralism embraces diversity that goes beyond ethnicity. is mirrored by high levels of unemployment in once industrial areas such as East London. allegedly in response to the unseen hand of market forces. Boundary definition and community building will be an ongoing process and may never be . Indeed hostility and discrimination from the dominant / majority group (Cooper & Qureshi 1993) may well have the effect of strengthening community relationships and ethnic identity where previously they were weak. Such fears were played on by Conservative politicians such as Enoch Powell in 1968 and Margaret Thatcher in her 1978 "swamping" speech. using the concept of community is fraught with ambiguities and political dangers.g. or simply security and freedom from fear. The opportunity for fringe fascist / Nazi political groups will be greatest when the indigenous community is close knit (and has Gemeinschaft characteristics). the racist myths of white superiority are easily evoked. The world in which numerous overlapping or discrete communities and networks co-exist is often described as a plural society and the set of values and political arrangements which encourage it to flourish as pluralism. social boundary fences between the ethnic groups will be built and conflicts over scarce resources of housing. and individuals may be involved in and identify with two or more discrete or overlapping networks. Such communities without propinquity may take many forms.

Sometimes it is the use of a single word or idiom that betrays or signals a persons identity. Britanny. especially in Anglophone cities. quasi-experimental research using actors matched in every respect except skin colour has been used many times.resolved to everyone's satisfaction. The importance of this work for our present concerns is that much of it centres round the problematic of speech community (LMP 1985 p 128 -133). Modood et al. 1994). Pakistani identity while Hindi is denotes membership of the Hindu community (Mobbs 1981). Language and identity Language is one of the most interesting and sophisticated system for marking social difference. Asians) tend to define their community in terms of nationality. with Serbs. and with varying degrees of commitment (Barth 1969 Wallman 1978). but Serbs using the Cyrillic rather than the Roman alphabet. In the U. Some sociolinguists have related choice of language or variation in speech forms to social network structure (Gal 1979. Greek in Melbourne. ultimately based on the categories of the South Asian caste system (Modood 1992. and native speakers of the two varieties have no great difficulty in mutual comprehension.6) a distinction based on nothing more than the pronunciation of a single sound. Still others feel happy to negotiate the boundaries of their ethnicity. by relatively small variations in pronunciation within the English language. with varying degrees of pride or stigma. In the most extreme form. and will claim to belong to various communities and groups. Because of the immense flexibility and creativity within language it is extremely difficult to define a speech community by setting boundaries. A similar situation over language exists in former Yugoslavia. A range of different markers can be used singly or in combination to define the boundaries of a group or community and these can be applied either by outsiders or insiders. and the written languages diverge greatly in their vocabulary. Milroy 1980) as well as to the more conventional sociological categories of race. Yet the scripts are totally different. label and discriminate against people almost since time began. such as Spanish in New York. Belgium. as in the Apartheid pass book system such distinctions were imposed by the State and had legal force and consequences. conservative. In Britain many regional and class identities are marked. and gender (Labov 1972. had fatal consequences for those who got it wrong. However the battle is often a difficult one as new generations are born. and have been used to categorise. Italian in Toronto. language spoken. at others it is switching to an entirely different language. and the decision to use it that defines the boundaries of the local community. The sociolinguistic literature is replete with studies of the notion of how language forms unite or divide groups of people. For example some black people (mostly younger political radicals) wish to define all people from ethnic minorities as members of a single "black community" on the basis of a shared experience of racist oppression (NMP 1991). In Wales. class. "s" or "sh" in the word "shibboleth". Does a . to name just a few European regions. and religion. alongside survey evidence to show that black people are frequently discriminated against when presenting themselves in person in search of employment. South Asia provides some of the most interesting examples (Shapiro & Schiffman 1981). Others (mostly older. the Hebrides. it is the ability to speak a minority language. Croats and Muslims speaking a mutually comprehensible language. As long ago as the Old Testament book of Judges (chap 12. given the world dominance of English and its ubiquity in the mass media. Japanese in Sao Paolo. housing or other services (Brown 1984. according to the context. Gujerati in Leicester or Polish in Bradford is often vital to community identity and preservation of the culture (LMP 1985). Trudgill 1974). Urdu is the marker of Muslim.K. In more fluid urban societies maintaining a heritage language. Jones 1993). Skin colour or other physical features are the most obvious and visible markers. and since partition. Catalonia and the Basque country. In North India there are minimal differences between the spoken forms of Hindi and Urdu. In some contexts the writing system rather than the language itself becomes the boundary marker of a community. This puts into question the validity of community studies like some of those mentioned in the previous chapter where a reified ethnic minority community is taken as a well defined unit of analysis.

In one sense a speech community could include the whole world. and even today both in India and in the diaspora. Partly in reaction to the suffering caused by religious conflict in Early modern Europe the liberal Enlightenment tradition has valued toleration above all else. In the some of the best known cases such as Belfast. Muslim or Christian. Even in the case of a distinct language. But in both cases it offers the possibility of believing and . and has suggested that religion is a private matter for the individual. who are in some cases defined inclusively as all people in the world. Yet from a communitarian viewpoint it can be argued that the best hope for communities to flourish is through religious groupings. gender.g. For others it is more about personal beliefs. In best practice these precepts are worked out in compassionate service both within the group and to the wider community. love and care for neighbours. the fatwa on Salman Rushdie and the assassination of Yitzak Rabin. All this was given an explicit religious legitimation. Christian or Hindu. friendship. and there is space for building and strengthening networks of acquaintance. hostility and bloodshed. Beirut and Bosnia historic religious divisions have led to segregation. as analysed by Durkheim (1915) the function of religion was seen to be legitimation for traditional social norms and the basis of solidarity. e. race and personality. Thus religion is intrinsically communitarian in spirit. Even in the modern city. belief or religious activity has been enough to make innocent bystanders the victims of murder. or how s/he worships. a matter of choice in the supermarket of value systems. This should not be surprising if one recognises the importance of Bund structures. which covers a person's social obligations. Religion (etymologically from a Latin term meaning "to bind") is by its nature an integrating force. in another it is me alone. Communities have been defined not only as Muslims. Islam and Judaism which have been highlighted by the bombing of abortion clinics. it does not matter what an individual believes. Elective communities can be the building blocks from which a more integrated (whole) society can be constructed. code switching and mixing and always the possibility of bilingualism or interpreters. religion builds community in at least three different ways. but within Hinduism in particular and among the other faiths by transference the caste system has segregated people in their place of residence. ritual or celebration. Thirdly in most religions people meet on a regular basis for worship. Lyon & West 1995). In many of the World faiths there are commandments or exhortations to respect. In traditional society. regardless of any level of values. and underlies many examples of communal tension and conflict (Burlett & Reid 1995. providing no serious harm is done to others. despite differences of class. In post-modern plural societies religion for some people is the vestigial glue of a traditional society which has broken down or been transferred and reestablished in a new country. Sikh. Religion and community Religion too. in the work they were expected to do and above all in defining possible marriage partners. Once again network analysis appears more helpful than categorising the world by boundaries. In India since earliest times group boundaries have been marked on the basis of religion. morals and spirituality. Welsh there are plenty of examples of borrowed English words and phrases. Often the mere label of Protestant or Catholic. mutual obligation and economic exchange. Since the claims of religion are not easily settled by public or "scientific" discourse. Attitudes and skills acquired in the safe context of a religious community can be profitably transferred to citizen involvement in public life. First its teachings provide ultimate sacred anchor points which are shared by believers. kinship. can and has been a powerful boundary marker between communities. or when a listener fails to understand 90% of what the speaker is saying.speech community end at the point where a person begins to drop their h's. caste remains an important dimension of discrimination. sometimes admittedly at the expense of values of liberty and equality. Here the shared sense of belonging and identity is enhanced. Secondly it provides in most cases a system of moral values. perhaps for an Londoner in Glasgow. At the present time there are increased fears among liberals in the West because of the emergence of extreme forms of fundamentalism in Christianity.

even if it wanted to. seem unlikely that the diverse and conflicting religious systems and groups in current urban settings can find enough in common to integrate the community as a whole. meditation and healing take precedence over the search for God. Salvation becomes a consumer commodity and in the supermarket of religions syncretism. the Trade Unions. Scherer's (1972) case study of an affluent suburban parish which she saw has held together more by a common conservative middle class culture. serve. The problems to be solved are largely personal and psychological ones. indeed defined by it. (Scherer 1972 p57). about 200 of which are congregations. managing and living community. and spiritual and material blessing.000 Hindus and 5. and the example of religious involvement in politics given by Gandhi. or pick and mix personalised faith systems are commonplace. The black Christian communities which grew out of the experience of slavery and segregation have still a profound role in Black American culture. where secular movements such as the Labour Party. to which the influence of Black Muslim movements has added. Local congregations of varying theologies from Roman Catholic to Pentecostal are becoming more participatory and consciously developing an extended family ethos (Smith 1988). and love of neighbour "out there". The crucial point for debate is whether such religious communities construct clear boundaries and become inward looking. In Christian theology there has been a renewed interest in ecclesiology. The new Catholic theologies of liberation. Boff 1986). however. Martin Luther King and Desmond Tutu have also made an impact. a rate that stands alongside the national average for England after a century when religious practice in such urban areas was constantly around a third of the national rates (Marchant 1986). of finding personal meaning and social identity.000 attend church. needs to be challenged.000 Muslims among whom 75% of adult males claim to be regular attenders at a mosque. Such religion is the antithesis of communitarianism. religion has an important and growing role in social and political life. Where local congregations become home for the socially excluded. For example. There is no way the urban church or the other faith communities can ignore or neglect the task of building. (Hamilton 1995) as techniques of prayer. the authentic self. Churches and other religious groups have a long tradition of charity towards the poor. for the poor and the refugee solidarity and mutual help usually grow. (Davie 1994) It would. Smith 1996a). Nor can secular policy makers safely ignore the religious dimension in dealing with "community" issues and implementing community policies. as they cater for and attract far greater proportions of ethnic minority and refugee groups. around 20. In some cases the sectarian tendency to exclude and demonise non-believers. Here the emphasis is on the privatisation of religious experience. There are also at least 25. especially in the charismatic Christian and New Age variety. or meet congenial . or whether they seek to relate to. about happiness. But in the absence of other strong local networks and collectivities. and white newcomers to churches are as likely to be income support claimants as respectable employed traditional families.000 people over 15. the churches. There is however another contradictory trend in modern religion. The involvement of religious organisations and people in "community projects" and in the networks of public life is highly significant. mosques and temples are beginning to grow. and of standing up for social justice. in East London.belonging. seems quaintly outdated. It may even be the case that the process of secularisation as usually understood is coming to an end. and the desire to use religion as a mechanism of political domination. It is estimated that out of a population of 217. Increasingly the notion of community is linked to religion. evangelise and influence the wider population in their locality.000 Sikhs (Aston CIU 1994. as an organisation facing an identity crisis. Arguably the concern is with magic rather than religion. There is some evidence too that religious groups are becoming a haven for the marginalised. focussed around notions of community derived from the New Testament (Banks 1980. and 160 recognisably Christian churches. than by shared religious commitment. These movements also have influence in black communities in Britain. There are now some 275 religious groups in a single borough. and even the Neighbourhood Watches have failed or are struggling. if the church or religious community has any place at all it is only the place to discover ones true self. In particular as Harris (1995) has pointed out congregations form an important base for the practice of community care.

but the common cause is often recognised as a form of community. race and social class by fashions of appearance. and explicit shared value systems. Environmental concern has made an impact throughout the Western world across many of the boundaries of age and class. Alongside more open personal networks. and the relationships they make within them as one section of their personal networks. At the radical end of the spectrum action on the issues may lead to the formation of an intentional or residential community. of a social organisation in which the raising of the next generation is of paramount importance therefore demanding at least some degree of collaboration between male and female for the purpose of procreation? The feminist critique of "community care" may in part derive from such a deconstructive approach to the ideology of community. if as yet somewhat less in changing patterns of male domination in most spheres of society. Such communities often develop high levels of solidarity. Elderly middle class bird watchers. . Whether the private or community mode of religion dominates in years to come one thing is certain. music groups and psychiatric group therapy. to establish collaborative networks between them and to build on any common interests and values they have for the benefit of public life as a whole. Religious expression and the range of organisations expressing it will be increasingly diverse. working class inner city parents. and student anarchists have a common interest in such issues as reducing pollution from car exhausts. behaviour and language. Some feminist groups it seems wish to exclude men from every aspect of their lives. styles of music. There will be no single value base shared by all in any village or street. which have more than a tinge of the religious. which is often fairly homogeneous in terms of age. Obsessive personalities find meaning and belonging in communities of interest as diverse as sports clubs. disabled people. They mark the boundaries of their community. Despite feminist sympathies for communitarian theories and praxis. or achievement of the hope of an Islamic world society. and extremely diverse (Hebdidge 1979). for example in tree houses obstructing the passage of bull dozers for a new motorway or in the case of the women anti-nuclear protesters camped at Greenham common in the 1980s (Dominelli 1995). Solidarity is more likely to be expressed in terms of sisterhood.like minded friends. Other communities of identity As the twentieth century comes to a close traditional class and national identities play a less important role in social organisation and political mobilisation. Is it perhaps the case that "community" is to be rejected as a male defined term? Or is it rather that the everyday usage of the term has so many irremovable connotations of family. Of particular note among the social movements are greens. which are often met by the incomprehension if not horror of their parents' generation. new social movements are constantly being born and for some people these become a focus for some participants not only for political action but for fundamental identity and belonging. model railway societies. There will be no return to the days of medieval Christendom. Moderates and radicals may disagree as to methods. in which the whole of society is united in a single religious community. For all women in some circumstances and for some feminists in almost all circumstances gender is seen as an uncrossable boundary marker. let alone across a nation state. Although many people take regard such movements simply as one of many interests in their lives. Youth sub-cultures are of particular interest. Of course it does not need to be a political or social movement as such for communities of identity to form. for others the movement becomes a primary community. and the "rights" of farm animals. The challenge for communitarians is to build on the strength of religious communities. (Frazer & Lacey 1993) it is not however usual to hear the word "community" applied to feminist or women only collectives. Feminism has grown as a self conscious movement over recent years and has achieved much in terms of the conscientisation of women. feminists and gays.

Public identification with the community. In recent years there has been a major transformation of identity for many. In place of medical definitions of handicap and impairment and charitable responses based on pity activists have demanded equal recognition as members of society. "Workers of the world unite" is no longer a very effective slogan. A more satisfactory picture is that of network with a dense core and more loosely connected periphery. as about the right of disabled people to play a full role in the wider community. In some cities particular neighbourhoods have become segregated enclaves for gay residents. equipment and rigid work patterns. Homosexual orientation is probably more a matter of degree than category. There has been an effective process of conscientisation. On the notion of fragmentation The emergence of so many communities of identity in contemporary society suggests an increasing complexity in the organisation of the world. It illustrates perhaps better than any other contemporary case that communities. Campaigns have focussed on physical access.In contrast the gay and lesbian movement has vigorously embraced the term community in its politics of identity. publications and voluntary support groups. The definition of disability is contested so. place of residence. and many individuals to "come out". "coming out". while most urban areas now have publicly listed gay and lesbian clubs. and on the right to choose appropriate models of medical and social support. Fragmentation is a common way of describing this breaking down of the social order. that parallels that of gay and lesbian people. and in any case is not essentially publicly observable. If it is a single incident of homosexual practice in a lifetime some people would be included who would deny their membership. Foster et al 1995). If a community existed it was in the form of semi-covert informal networks. It is however questionable whether the fragmentation process is leading to a breakdown of . higher social security benefits to improve mobility and care. However. religion. and about the implications of the term care in the community. Gay pride festivals are now commonplace. according to the recent Health Survey for England 1991 around 40% of the population reported themselves to have a long-standing illness or disability while the General Household Survey of 1993 found 8% of respondents to have a mobility problem (White et al 1993. They have pointed for example that barriers to employment are not so much the inabilities of disabled people but the stigmatising attitudes of able bodied society. in campaigns which often resonate with some of the demands of the women's movement. but would still exclude people who are convinced as to their sexuality. What are the criteria for membership of the gay community? If it is living in a homosexual partnership many would be permanently excluded and some would move in and out of the community. The language used has not been so much about the disabled community. is perhaps the clearest guide. The case of the gay and lesbian community yet again illustrates the mistake of re-ifying a community by marking its boundaries. it does seem plausible that the processes of fragmentation and privatisation are functional within capitalism. who look after elderly and disabled people have also demanded recognition. far more so for example than with the women's movement. Decriminalisation and greater tolerance in recent years has allowed a movement to organise in public. Without wishing to invoke any conspiracy theories. and the unsuitability of buildings. for ideological purposes. gender. can be and are socially constructed. determining the boundaries of the "community" of disabled people is intrinsically difficult. Until the 1960's homosexuality in most Western societies was seen as deviant and its practice was illegal. in that they render mass organisation of opposition to global business and the ruling political elites of nation states that more difficult. the usually female kin. People can be grouped into a growing range of categories according to ethnicity. but are not yet prepared to bear the stigma of confessing it in public. For example Newham's leading local movement on disability is called Action and Rights of Disabled People and insists that all decisions taken about its activities are taken by disabled people themselves. and as collective responses to perceived oppressions. patterns of consumption and much more. at least at the core of the movement. In the wake of the disability rights movement Carers. Looked at from the outside boundary definition is problematic.

a cyclist. For although some people do find their primary sense of identity and belonging in a fragmentary form of community other forces work to bind people together into greater collective structures. shanty towns or even on the streets. remote rural areas. and associate with whichever networks of people or communities of common interest they choose. political ties as citizen or subject. But just as the poor are excluded from most of the opportunities of the market place. so a large number of people are excluded from choice about the communities they belong to. a socialist. Thus I am a man. private and narcissistic forms of Gemeinschaft inherently destructive? In the next chapter we will spend some time looking at the contradictory social trends that work on the one hand for fragmentation and on the other towards unification of the contemporary world. a bird watcher and a steam train enthusiast. disabled people and the mentally ill. New modes of industrial production have introduced flexibility in product specifications. sub-cultures spring up and mark their boundaries by styles of fashion or music. especially in the consumption of arts and leisure products. conspicuous consumption in the 1990's revels in difference. choice and fragmentation. children. and manufacturers make huge profits from selling images and designer labels. Within broad general constraints. or are as Sennett (1977a 1977b) argued. But none of those roles. Secondly. older people. The emerging information society is one in which the key concept is the network. but in cultural forms and even identities. and as a defense against the hostility of the majority community. most people have network connections which inevitably bind them into wider society. The notion of pick and mix culture is easily understood and can obviously be applied to the issue of multiple. more traditional concepts of community refuse to lie down and die. And as we shall see. and the spread of a global culture through the electronic media is the major force imposing a shared experience on increasing proportions of the world's population. This of course brings us back to a key question. simply because they have no money to purchase any of the wide range of consumer goods on offer. both within the high priestly class of Internet wizards. However the increasingly interactive nature of communication networks at the same time promotes diversity. consumers are overwhelmed with choice. economic ties as employee and consumer. a West Ham supporter. Globalisation of the market economy. a Christian. overlapping and flexible identities and community attachments (Lyon 1994).society in the alarmist sense of the phrase. a husband. In the first place the majority of people can be categorised in a large number of overlapping social fragments and play a range of roles at different times of their life. learn new languages and skills. a community worker. Rich and educated people can use their purchasing power to move from one residential neighbourhood to a "better" one while the poor are condemned to remain in deprived municipal housing estates. In some settings consumers can be shown to define their personal identities and values by their relationship to the choices they make in purchasing. The same applies to other less powerful fragments within society. social ties of friendship and kinship. Meanwhile poor and less educated people are on the whole less mobile and have to get on with the business of relating to the neighbourhood communities where they happen to be. and among the masses who are likely to be excluded from the world of cyberspace. global and unbounded. a researcher. a father. a white person. no longer in these post-Fordist times are consumers offered cars in "any colour as long as it's black". . One of the themes of the debate on postmodernity which we have already referred to has been the growing possibilities of individual choice not only in consumer goods. Unlike the period of mass affluence in the 1960's when "keeping up with the Jones's" was the watchword. Rich and educated people can travel the world. In the cases where they do move as migrant labour or as refugees they still have little choice but relate within the ethnic community in which they are perceived to belong . both for mutual practical and cultural support. For these groups belonging and community is given rather than chosen. relationships and categories can be used alone to denote my complex identity. The whole post modern world is thus inextricably connected as a massive network of interdependency. can "community" in any meaningful sense of the term ever be chosen.

. The new forums atop computer networks are the great levellers and reducers of organizational hierarchy. ones on which what really counts is what you say and think and feel.Chapter 8: Community connections in an information society • • • • • • • • Virtual communities: utopias Virtual communities: dystopias Cyberville and local communities Community development & IT Electronic democracy Community as virtual reality Key books for Chapter 8 Back to contents Most readers of this book are likely to have at least a vague idea about the capabilities of the Internet although unless they are reasonably frequent users of some of the Computer Mediated Communications (CMCs) it offers they may find the material discussed in this chapter somewhat mind-blowing (see Winder 1994. You cannot see them. so everything in this world is connected by a series of ties. political.. not how you look or talk or how old you are. and community responsibility? How do virtual communities differ from the communities of Real Life? Can the new technologies bring wide scale benefits to local communities. or will their value be restricted to a rich and powerful elite? Finally how do technologies such as multimedia and virtual reality and the cultural forms they generate feedback directly into popular conceptions of 'community' itself? Virtual communities: utopias From the direction of cyberspace. access to every other user.. networks hold tremendous potential to enrich our collective cultural. 'New communities are being built today. In an article appearing as foreword to the Dummy's guide to the Internet Mitch Kapor (1994) Co-founder of the significantly named Electronic Frontier Foundation makes these claims. is this globalism in contradiction with their themes of local decision making.. You cannot visit them. Given these characteristics.. except through your keyboard. Those are real people on the other sides of those monitors. And freed from physical limitations. Quotations such as that from Kapor (below) were downloaded and imported into the author's word processor. and social lives and enhance democratic values everywhere'... especially those characterised by poverty and deprivation. and bibliographical details of most of the references for the book were discovered by on line searching of the Social sciences citation index and library catalogues as far away from the author's desk as Washington DC. . in the academic world. 'Yet these communities of cyberspace are as real and vibrant as any you could find on a globe or in an atlas. Although the Communitarian Network uses the Internet to communicate. 'As a net is made up of a series of ties. for basic introduction). and an equal chance to be heard. Much of the research for this chapter was carried out by searching the World Wide Web for up to date articles on themes such as virtual community and communitarianism. And in keeping with the spirit of postmodernity and the New Age the article ends with a quotation from the Buddha.. at least in theory. except on a computer screen. .ones which are defined more by common interest and purpose than by an accident of geography. these people are developing new types of cohesive and effective communities . This chapter considers their impact on the debate about communitarianism and the nature of contemporary communities.. Clearly the new CMCs are having a significant impact on information processing. Each user has. Their highways are wires and optical fibres. their language a series of ones and zeros. comes a very optimistic view of the potential for community in an information society.

Here they were able to exchange information about music (especially that of the band Grateful Dead). Ditto for when my parents died. Many people because of poverty. 'My virtual community. political protest events and happenings. As a prime example of a virtual community Rheingold describes the WELL which grew out of a bulletin board set up by a group of computer literate alternative lifestyle enthusiasts in California. Rheingold celebrates the co-operative spirit and participatory nature of the WELL and similar services. question. Rheingold relates from his own experience how he has built networks with people of common interest around the world. As a self confessed. I have made friends in Austin. while Stallabrass (1995) explores in some detail the narratives and cultural conflicts around the notion of cyberspace concluding almost apocalyptically that it is 'the last act of the Enlightenment'. Chicago. There are a number of key issues that need to be considered if the dystopic nightmares are to be avoided. and the growing underclass in the West will be too busy in long hours of low paid manual service work.' Although social scientists are beginning to take an interest in Cybersociety (Jones ed. and each mesh has its place and responsibility in relation to other meshes. and who has diametrically opposed views to mine on gun control. These people have. and provided me with emotional support. Seattle. the latest popular film or song. who's in a relationship. he is mistaken. and drawing a sketch map of cyberspace. abortion. On The WELL I know dozens of people well enough to know what makes them laugh. even the enthusiastic Rheingold raises some of the social implications of the new CMC technologies. such as East London's Newham Way have carved through the heart of urban neighbourhoods and left a deprived and under-resourced community cut off from mainstream society.K. Just as major commuter roads. or standing in line in benefit offices and soup kitchens to find their way onto the Internet. He glories in the current semi-anarchy of the Internet and argues for minimal regulation of its services. who I can trust. where I go this weekend. in contrast with the anonymous neighbourhood where he lives. Scime (1995) in a direct comparison of Etzioni and Rheingold is guardedly optimistic about virtual communities. so the Information Superhighway could further bisect and polarise the world. 1994) the most extended discussion of the notion of virtual community to date is that of Rheingold (1994).' Virtual communities: dystopias However. let me stay in their homes. or the eternal Mac versus DOS and what about the Amiga. or simply lack of access to computers and cables will never be able to participate. It is called a net because it is made up of a series of interconnected meshes. Yet interestingly. Boston. Other commentators such as Postman (1995) have a far more pessimistic scenario in view. but many don't. The economic potential of CMCs is likely to resonate with other . The WELL. isolated thing.If anyone thinks that the mesh of a net is an independent. for example the Phreak bulletin boards in the U. fed me. and Australia. His popular book The Virtual Community besides outlining the history of the Internet technologies. and where he only knows two people in any depth. Many of them live in the Bay Area. and New Age spirituality. Japan. he also relates that many WELL subscribers feel the need to meet up at least occasionally in Real Life (IRL). sent from an 'aging cyberpunk weirdo' in Texas. who I can collaborate on projects with. given me work. New York City. and are linked in many cases to the global Internet. anyway?. argues that the interactive and participatory nature of CMCs provides many opportunities for community building. has about 8000 residents.. Most of the people of the Two Thirds World. Similar alternative virtual communities now exist centred in a number of locations. Granola eating ex-hippy. Firstly there is the question of social exclusion. sight unseen. and where certain surly neighbours never ever smile. The best advice I got when my girlfriend and I broke up showed up as simple text on a computer screen. Belgium. Another WELL user Eric Theise (1995) describes his involvement. for example at the annual WELL family picnic.

on average every 45 seconds. face physical dangers from Repetitive Strain Injury (Mouse muscles!). Will "knowledge" or "wisdom" increase along with this surfeit of information? Is any. is now only available to people or organisations who can pay large sums of money. If age and ethnicity prove to be barriers to access. and zappit games improving each year in their search for virtual reality). and psychological alienation from other human beings." being sprayed by slightly interesting information and riding where the current takes us. many people. As long as the Internet operates mainly in text neither disability nor gender need become an issue. and as some feminists argue that the medium and style of communication is controlled and defined by men. they need not disclose the truth. or disclose as much or as little about themselves as they wish. Ominously information once freely in the public domain. and the liberation of information ("hacking") is in many countries a criminal offence. Technofreaks who regularly log in know how easy it is to waste hours just "surfing the Internet. Of course even then. The copyrighting and protection of information sources by improved cybersecurity will undoubtedly grow. such as small area census data. While there will be a surface appearance of a cornucopia of cultural choices the products available will inevitably be constrained within the limited choices of the dominant Western mass culture. Even now on-line costs to really useful information services are prohibitive to all but high profit companies and privileged sectors of government. radiation from VDU screens. failing eyesight. Although new generations of more user friendly software may encourage wider access. with the massive capital investment needed to make the high bandwidth "superhighway" a reality. Education and training in IT skills is a key determinant here. or at least a friendly and patient "native" tourist guide. For there are many accounts of people with profound bodily limitations who. Anyone who has begun to "surf the Internet" will recognise how difficult the process of learning to connect up. As long as IT is dominated by the market any benefit to ordinary people will be minimal. and other ethnic minorities may well remain excluded. almost every service will be expected to make a financial return. As IT proliferates Information overload will be an increasing problem/temptation to the non discerning user. As far as the general public is concerned the main functions of the superhighway will be distribution of entertainment (58 channels of American trash movies. spelling danger to physical and mental health as the only exercise of the channel hopping couch potato will be to press a zapper. Language is another barrier. there are many accounts of participants with aliases. and fantasy identities in cyberspace. soaps and game shows. As the usefulness of the technology increases the commodification of information has begun. English is inexorably becoming the globally dominant language. nor for that matter sexuality or race. (Devins & Hughes 1995) Alongside economic exclusion comes cultural exclusion. or all of the information found there up-to date. On the other hand gender could still be barrier to access since the CMC world is dominated numerically by males.contemporary economic and political processes to further increase the gap between the haves and have nots. especially if you do not have access to expensive training packages. disability may not. other language channels. There are dangers too that all cultural and sporting activity will become spectator oriented rather than participatory. Even those who choose to use CMCs interactively. At the moment written English is the main medium. including flirtatious chat between men who present as women and women presenting as men.machine interfaces may soon be in place. to obtain a tailor made education. given appropriate hardware and software play a full and active part as "normal" members of virtual communities. perhaps with machine translation and speech . accurate or (dare we use the word/) true? Already too we are reaching the point where electronic junk mail could clog the . virtual (only) aerobics. and accountants are likely to restrict usage to those who can generate income. true costs are likely to soar. or build a personal virtual community. For invisible participants can remain totally anonymous if they wish. let alone to navigate through the information jungle can be. especially the elderly will never catch on. Linguistic. relevant. Although increased use of graphics. subsidised access is likely to disappear.

including the possibilities or rewriting historical documents or parliamentary decisions with a few key strokes. In the UK there have been prosecutions on Net pornography. controlling pornography is but one example of government concern about the present relatively anarchic form of the Internet. and it is not impossible for the virtual community to develop mechanisms for social control (Baym 1994. With relationships being impersonal and at a distance it will be hard to establish shared cultural norms of behaviour. but perhaps more cruel mechanisms of social control used in traditional small scale communities. surveillance and social control are repeatedly found in the dystopian accounts of the Internet. despite the seeming anarchy of the Internet. Governments are already responding to these concerns. it has yet to be shown that such surveillance is unbearably intrusive to most citizens. to the ultimate punishment of banishment from the community. megabytes of advertising. and in certain Islamic states legal barriers to access to the Internet are under consideration. Such junk landing in your mailbox. by removing access to the server. But it is not mere prudery to fear that fantasy lives full of sex and violence may too easily and frequently be translated to atrocities in real life. Unsurprisingly issues of external censorship. which allows and encourages such approaches to sexuality and human persons. On the other hand because they are publicly advertised and easily contactable. This possibility. However. In face of rising concerns about crime and community safety. So it is that the Internet suffers from "flaming" where angry obscenities are traded across the world.system or render it unattractive.1994). women's groups and moralists have expressed concern about the easy availability of pornographic stories. does indicate that it is not in principle beyond human and political control. sex centred interactive discussion groups and obscene images on the Net. It is probably the case that information technology makes the possibility of the "panopticon" ideal of universal surveillance more feasible (Foucault 1977). in the USA strategies for parents to put electronic locks on undesirable channels are being promoted. ranging from returning megabytes of junk mail from all parts of the network. Whatever happens it is clear that the world as a whole has become utterly dependent on advanced global informational infrastructure. MacLughlin et al. Surely the moral issue is one about post-modern culture as a whole. just as it is in large scale urban societies. However. This in turn is dependent on global trade networks for supplies of raw materials from all over the world and on a reliable and efficient system for the distribution and production . although it is hard to see how CMCs in themselves are qualitatively different from any other medium. Whether the enthusiasts from cyberspace or the prophets of doom are vindicated only time will tell. Nonetheless Rheingold writes of various strategies being developed informally to impose sanctions control on those who breach netiquette. They often point out the potential for linked databases in the hands of a totalitarian state. It is probable that both sides will be proved partially correct. Extremists and fundamentalists can easily find a small support group scattered across the world. unsolicited instructions about how to make a nuclear weapon or eccentric chain letters. or even just an efficient bureaucracy. or that it is less desirable than some of the more personal. but the existence in cyberspace of cliques with divergent and extreme political and religious views has two effects. even if their views are regarded as lunacy by mainstream society. Ground rules for communication or netiquette are reasonably easy to codify. means that you either leave everything unread or find you don't start productive work till about midday. Worse still for libertarians are the Orwellian nightmares. Software products are being developed to sort and filter out some of the unwanted junk. Subscribers to electronic mailing lists already suffer from "spamming". many people may feel that a certain level of electronic surveillance is a price worth paying. and its potential for by-passing information control imposed by the nation state. Mutual social control is one universal feature of face to face communities. Parents. people with contradictory views can communicate their displeasure without much fear of physical attack. The current invisibility of participants and near anonymity of CMC networks makes social control a problem area in virtual communities.

sharing cars for supermarket trips. before fantasy merges with virtual reality and leads to real death! Cyberville and local communities The possibilities of global networking by telematics push to an extreme one of the fundamental questions about the nature of community. Happily the girl got quality treatment recovered. In such a complex and interdependent network it does not take the imagination of a science fiction writer to think through the possibilities of organised fraud. Some people will chose to live and work in idyllic and remote mountain villages. and of community lost. military incompetence or malign dictators. to build boundaries and barriers. A totally open network such as the Internet will always find it hard to develop internal solidarity. and of caring and nurturing. formal and informal childminding arrangements. Many people will have less need to move out of their own homes for information. Even then it is unlikely that the networks will become dense and multiplex. Instead. Then without being asked she took in our son for the night. entertainment and even work as telecommuting develops. economic sabotage. providing of course that there is an electricity supply. without anchoring it in locality and/or personal face to face interaction? Rheingold relates a now famous story of the father who used the WELL bulletin board when his daughter contracted leukaemia. going to boring parties and school meetings and tolerating through thin walls the incompatible musical tastes of one's neighbours. looking after cats and rabbits when families are on holiday. since so much of this depends upon building a distinct identity by comparison with other groups. saved or liberated. Is it meaningful to talk about a sense of community without a sense of place. Interestingly it is in such rural settlements . while two worried parents drove their child to hospital. It is of course built out of thousands of daily acts of mutual cooperation and reciprocity. Scime (1995) argues that Etzioni's criteria of community.of electricity. only in some cases such as interactive bulletin boards and cyber conferences developing into Bund structures. We know we are privileged as a family to be part of a local community network where such behaviour is common. we have our next door neighbour. and is clearly going to influence the direction of social change in years to come. In order to answer this question at a more theoretical level we need to return to our earlier discussion of Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft. However in other types of case traditional face to face community is more effective. However we have also noted the tendency of communities. But that evening was not the time to use the Internet. Jenny. While relationships of communication will grow in number. discourse and the characteristics of a moral voice. Perhaps this is the point where we should return to real life. But such community is possible even in the fragmented society of East London and at times is vital for sanity and survival. And it cannot yet be found on the Internet. For example not so long ago my own two year old daughter had to be admitted to our local hospital as an emergency at eleven at night. can be applied at least in part to many virtual communities. In the end the illness it was nothing too serious and after two days she was fine again. and personal networks of participants may expand they are almost certainly going to remain at the level of Gesellschaft. Virtual networks are inherently incapable of building Gemeinschaft. or on small off-shore islands. shared values. He searched everywhere for information about the best treatments. Obviously this was a case of real human benefit from the use of new technologies. and was inundated with both useful advice and messages of what could best be described as "prayer support". and despite the annual real life picnic gathering of WELL participants described by Rheingold. despite the mixture of play and serious information hunting. The contacts will remain for the most part transitory and instrumental. indeed their function. However. it is said that the origins of the Internet in the military industrial complex of the USA ensure that it would survive a nuclear holocaust. This appears to be an unlikely scenario for the prototypical virtual communities. even by conflict with a common enemy. a phone link and a hypermarket within an hour's drive. She had already been with us two hours while we waited for the GP to visit. shared interests. cyberspace terrorism or simply a cataclysmic cock up. Nonetheless the idea of community without propinquity reaches its extreme in the Internet.

Beamish (1995) analyses and describes the development of a number of local community networks in North America. one to one or via mailshots. although such "homeworking" is a sector notoriously prone to low pay and exploitation. Community development & IT Despite the dystopian visions it can be argued that within ordinary urban and suburban neighbourhoods. It will be harder but still not impossible to distinguish real life from the fantasy of "pretend land". and prefer to meet. Typically they can be accessed on line via a modem. Information technology may have some potential for countering the growth of oil fired transportation for commuting and international business. And if face to face community at the neighbourhood level seems likely to persist as an ideal or a real life need for the people of cyberville. Using cyber conferences and video link meetings it will be easier to establish world-wide business networks. it may soon be possible to send 3D visual images. can be set up as in the ATTACH project being piloted a number of European locations including Newham. opening times of museums and clinics. However. and public access terminals offering direct contact with the authorities. There is as yet no evidence that simply providing public access and information . It seems that many such projects are technology led rather than based on a clear analysis of demand or need from the local community. it will remain even more important for the ordinary citizen. If information spells power. Direct access by the public to useful on-line databases could in theory help people navigate in such impenetrable jungles as the social security or health service bureaucracy. but harder if less necessary to bring people together for local face to face interaction. Email could give many people and grass roots organisations fast cheap international and local written communication. in the flesh (sic). teleleisure (in homes surrounded by video cameras and security fences and patrolled by rottweilers) become the norm. The local economy could be strengthened as small businesses could advertise their wares. Information about local events and services. it is likely that people will still need to. possibly bringing some environmental benefits in its wake. While logically there is no reason for software engineers to live in the same continent there are advantages of maintaining human contact with colleagues. Castells has shown how the economic and skills base of high tech industries are concentrated in favoured urban locations. and developing personal networks with potential collaborators and customers. Inevitably people will meet neighbours face to face. There could be other positive spin offs such participation in the labour market for women and disabled people unable easily to travel to work. Attach 1995). despite the savings to employers in overhead costs. the search for a lost cat or second hand baby equipment for sale could all be set up. talk with them. where people swap labour measured in local units of currency could be facilitated (Carter 1995). such as silicon valley in California (1989). It is even possible that people who meet in virtual communities will decide to move home to locate near each other.that the nostalgic myth of community is usually located. (Horten 1995. not to mention make love. it is inevitable that for the foreseeable future people will live. Video linked interpreting services and for a dozen or more ethnic minorities. Local unemployed people could search for jobs and upgrade their skills as they start to use such technologies. and even engage in virtual (hardly virtuous!) sex over the information superhighway. or at public access kiosks or terminals. Even if teleworking. Such networks clearly have a role in community development in deprived neighbourhoods . and public bulletin boards advertising new community groups. teleshopping. or the police. and have rarely been properly evaluated. and perhaps even more in scattered rural communities CMCs have many potential benefits for ordinary people and for local community groups. The search for funding for community projects could be simplified. discover common interests and some sense of local community will persist. play and be educated. and LETS schemes. A major problem at this stage is that all such schemes for Community CMC networks are relatively experimental. In the science fiction (becoming fact!) world of virtual reality. a hug. any success in shaping and/or liberating information must be an empowering experience. go to pubs and churches and go for walks in neighbourhoods.

Information technology could offer not just rapid and accurate calculation of results. protest. In the UK with a more secretive government tradition progress is slower. Without a major educational programme and huge culture change among the mass of people the case for such services remains unproven. In theory there is the potential for reducing the number of meetings and forests felled for paper documentation which no one has time to read. However. There is also the potential for better communication across sectors. important in the context of partnerships for urban regeneration. Thirdly the information base for deciding on important questions would be a contentious issue. but a much more profound change in political culture. One area of great significance is that of electronic voting. where complex policy options are usually reduced to slogans and images. Firstly it would be likely that a large group of people. lobbying. experiments should surely continue. it would seem wise to engage in a long and extensive public debate on any proposals for electronic voting. While it is obvious that politicians have a vested interest in resisting such changes. Despite a minority of people using CMCs to discuss the issue and question politicians before the vote. After all representative democracy. and behind which politicians often take cover.is followed by take up. and in twenty years from hence the situation may be entirely different. and between departments of local and national government. In the USA with its Freedom of Information Act and open political culture such public access is already available. especially by categories of people who are otherwise socially excluded. the majority of people would be informed of the issues by mass media. and mobilise for action such as demonstrations and mass letter writing. or preferences for plot outcomes in interactive soap-operas. as the people would take all the important decisions directly. computer conferencing and other forms of electronic publishing could help relatively marginal campaigning groups get their message across. with copies to thousands of concerned people across the world. There are three serious arguments against this form of electronic plebiscite. pencil and paper methods with public manual counting remains in force. draft legislation. called to account by opposition parties in the legislature. (Percy Smith 1995) In the USA mechanised voting apparatus has been in use for many years while in the UK. having no susbstantial stake in society they would feel such processes to be irrelevant to their lives. most probably the poor and socially excluded would be excluded from participation. and referenda as well as parliamentary and local elections could take place from the comfort of people's homes. Every question put to the public would need to be framed by politicians and bureaucrats. Electronic democracy Communitarians place a high value on participation in the political process and many have seen CMCs as an important tool to encourage it. If elections were cheaper and more efficient there could be lots more of them. Secondly dealing with too many political decisions in this way would devalue the currency of democratic participation... It is also far from clear whether market returns or state subsidies are sufficient to fund the initial investment and running costs of such systems. transcripts of Parliamentary proceedings and MPs press releases could be available on-line. The use of Bulletin boards. Accountability could be improved by easy searching for . Voting on capital punishment or nuclear disarmament. Complaints and campaigns could be directed instantaneously to the top. giving them immense power in shaping the terms of any debate. Freedom of information is one of the widely heralded benefits of CMCs as government publications. by pressing zapper buttons in front of a TV screen would soon be equated with similar polling for the winner of the Eurovision Song Contest. before attempting to modify existing systems. It is argued by some that this would enhance democracy and accountability. although it seems unlikely that he is guaranteed to read it in person. and have no trust in the political process. either because they could not afford to have the necessary equipment in their home or because. sophisticated public opinion polling and regular general elections has a long and respectable track record as one of the least worst options for political life. and one suspects that access to the most significant documents would be restricted. even now it is possibly to send an Email message direct to Bill Clinton at the White House.

music and computer games industries. However. rather than to go out into the public world in person. Both can be of great use in education and training. illustrations and sound track. of subjective experience and happening superseding reason and objectivity. but we need to ask whether power (any more than high salaries and share options) has really shifted from the top levels of management. with great profit to the entertainment. This is the development of multimedia techniques and virtual reality. all without the risk of death or disaster. It comes in the shape of theme parks. There is even the marketing of Bethlehem. Nonetheless we must concede that IT could in some ways be a democratising force in employment. and in them participate to greater or lesser degree in "the life of the community". brain surgeons or English Test cricketers. Virtual reality simulations can be used to train airline pilots. industrial production devoid of sweat and dirt. Interestingly we are already seeing the marketing by the leisure industry of "virtual community" in a different sense of the term. of words being displaced by images. in Disneyland. community devoid of poverty and oppression. 1994) in which the notion of traditional community is a key selling point. and vicarious and temporary Gemeinschaft. the visitor from post modern times can step back to any number of pretend worlds. and even Christmas devoid of the smells of cow dung and the blood and tears of childbirth. Such themed environments as might be expected reach their extreme forms in the USA. Community as virtual reality As a postscript to this chapter we need to take note of the impact of a technological development that is linked to but distinct from CMCs. or even super-national organisations such as the EU or UN. & Gatewood. and cannot seriously build community through the "small platoons" of mediating structures. The communitarian concern for workplace democracy could also be served by CMCs. Ideas can emerge at any level in the company. The tour guides in many cases are redundant miners or mill workers. Universal Studios and the themed hotels of Las Vegas. CMCs then do hold out some hope for communitarian concerns about political participation. which was the lifeblood of the local economy and community was closed down in the face of global market forces. the pastiche of references from different historical periods and world cultures. between fantasy and real life. a fortunate minority of whom were retrained. In the slate caverns of North Wales. In the final chapter we move on to search for values and praxis which can serve such important and worthwhile concerns. However the technologies are likely to have more mass appeal in leisure and play. However they probably discourage political participation at the small scale local level. Pennsylvania as the Christmas capital of the USA (Cameron. They enable direct contact between a citizen and the national state. Such technologies underline some of the great cultural trends of the post modern period. where customers are sold for the duration of their visit. in the Ragged School Museum in East London. environments that evoke nostalgia. Such possibilities resonate well with communitarian emphases on public participation and government accountability. the major reservation must be that they are inherently a privatising technology in that they encourage people to participate from the comfort of their armchair. It is hardly the stuff of which lasting loyal solidarity. For example a single CD Rom can contain an entire encyclopedia complete with video clips. But all such virtual environments need to be sanitised in order to be marketable.relevant key words in such texts. effective democracy and accountability. when the traditional industry. in the Jorvik Centre at York. social justice and liberated human relationships can be made. We also need to note that new technology has led to the growth of less socially responsible practices such as contracting out and "down-sizing". producing history devoid of conflict. industrial museums and the like. . and of the blurring of the distinctions between work and play. In some workplaces networked computing has already led to the erosion of hierarchies and the growth of teamwork.

But in face of the frequent popular and political usage of the term we have not felt able to abandon it altogether. locality and scale. democracy.. (1994) "The virtual community. • to consider some trends of the postmodern period in terms of their impact on the concept and practice of community. While we have seen much to commend in the emphasis on subsidiarity. 1994 Jones S. • to introduce some of the methods used by social scientists in studying community and neighbourhoods. before moving on to sketch a philosophy and practice for enhancing community life that may rest on a sounder base in reality than many of the simplistic and nostalgic formulations and slogans of popular communitarianism.Key books for Chapter 8 Rheingold H. utopian idealism and normative emphasis in many formulations of community. It has been argued that the most common mistake is the re-ification of community. Caution is needed because it has been taken up quite eagerly across the political . and not simply because it comes from the USA. We have noted how the term is used ideologically. values and praxis • • • • • • • • Clarifying the concept Policy Social analysis Historical trends The future of community Values for an alternative communitarianism A strategy Back to contents The main thrusts of this book have been: • to remove some of the confusion around the concept of community as it is commonly used.G. which are sometimes but not usually geographically centred. divisive and dysfunctional nature of free market economics and the bureaucratic state collectivism that has evidently failed to deliver its promises. and the practice of community development. it has been necessary to approach it with ideological suspicion. ed.. when an analysis of the processes in overlapping networks with closely knit core components. by governments wanting to avoid expense and responsibility and in opposition by oppressed. • to evaluate some of the policy concerns raised by communitarianism. Clarifying the concept Deliberately no attempt has been made to give a definition of community. participation and civic responsibility. At the very least it presents a useful and important problematic. London. and patterns and networks of social interaction. In this final chapter the main arguments and conclusions are summarised. and highlight their key findings. community feeling or solidarity. Sage Chapter 9: The future of community. finding connection in a computerized world". excluded and marginalised groups. Secker & Warburg. corresponds more closely to reality. Policy Communitarianism we have argued can be seen as a the search for a middle way between the harsh. In exploring the use of the concept we have noted that there are hundreds of definitions and numerous usages on offer and that they cover three key themes. (1995) "Cybersociety". We have also noted the nostalgia.

Some remnants of traditional Gemeinschaft community do. normless and meaningless while at the same time society is organically unified on a global scale as never . Geographers. The moral tone of communitarian statements about the family is also questionable. But we have noticed also that many projects and models of community care are used to mask retrenchment of state welfare services. blaming and stigmatising single parents. while intensity of contact between two people can be measured it is much harder to quantify the levels of affection and/or hostility and the relative importance of a kind word to a neighbour as opposed to lending money or twenty four hour caring for an incontinent elderly relative. but finds it hard to move away from the accusation that such studies are one off. ethnic diversity. accountability. and electronic networking takes it a stage further. and advocating welfare cuts which will make successful childrearing even more difficult. fragmented. Human life appears to the individual as compartmentalised. atheoretical and not very good at dealing with conflict and change. Qualitative and interpretative sociology is useful for exploring the meaning of community for various types of people. Its Achilles heel may be its mathematical abstraction. despite everything. feminist demands and global environmental issues. and the contention that through the processes of urbanisation. to this loss is a matter for debate. and not simply because it repels the less numerate. but struggle to capture the aspects of community that transcend place. the state and using Freirian techniques can have a powerful emancipatory and educative impact. or to buy off or co-opt local opposition. We have noted some key questions that communitarianism does not yet seem to have adequately addressed. and even the electronic linkages of cyberspace. offer sophisticated techniques of quantitative and spatial analysis based on Census or survey data for local areas. which is arguably moving overall towards the Right. and especially the value attached. both between individuals and organisations. modernisation and globalisation. and can enjoy the freedom of constructing networks and communities of whomsoever they choose. Anthropology offers ways of looking at culture and ethnicity as well as what is probably the most powerful tool of all. but because it opens the way to stereotyping. This is not so much because it expresses a preference for marriage and stable two parent families over libertarian sexual attitudes. the non-local aspects of community. Intrinsically it is hard to capture in mathematical form the variation in the nature of different relationships. Planners and the Chicago urban sociologists. We have also in Chapter Two looked at the growth of community delivery of services. In contrast state led community development is full of inherent contradictions which impose serious limits to what it can achieve.spectrum. Again we have found much to commend in terms of participation. social exclusion. social network analysis. Privatisation leads to atomised and fragmented local social systems. This technique is excellent for mapping relationships. Social analysis In various places in the book we have discussed how social scientists from different disciplines have approached community and local studies. The functionalist tradition of community studies is instructive. persist. and the practice of community development. or in opposition to. such as economic structure and inequality. There is also some force in the argument that individuals have been liberated from the constricting bonds of traditional community. Historical trends Despite many reservations about conservatism and nostalgia we have found it hard to dispense with the Tonnies paradigm of the transition from Gemeinschaft to Gesellschaft society. Community development when sponsored independently of. while global communication and economic interdependency favour remote and massive institutions. relevance to local people and even value for money. However the long term process seems clear. The assumption that all conflicts can be settled on the basis of democratic debate based on common core values in post modern plural society is probably unsustainable. It is out of such acts of reciprocal exchange and altruism that the networks of personal relationship and ultimately the quality of community life is built. something in the nature of community has been irretrievably lost. The nature of.

given the circumstances of postmodern western culture. the emphasis on class struggle seen in Marxism and its derivatives. coupled with increasingly repressive surveillance and policing. Whether such communities can ever become self sufficient even at a subsistence level. Clearly such polarisation is detrimental to world peace. and the critical social analysis of feminist and black writers may have much to offer.) of those who call themselves postmodernists (Baumann 1992. It will be extremely difficult to impose a coherent analysis on what is happening. A basic welfare safety net. Social polarisation inevitably has political consequences. and with limited access to transportation. For these people the image of a postmodern world where all imaginable choices are possible is a cruel fantasy. with its implied valuing of consensus and the common good.before. they may have time to spare but leisure is a commodity they cannot afford to buy. such as Christian emphasis on the imperfection of humankind. With the idolatry of market forces it is no accident that poverty is growing in urban Britain and a new class of the excluded is emerging all over Europe. that community mobilisation of excluded people can emerge spontaneously. Indeed any serious analysis of these patterns of social injustice brings into question the very notion of community. The future of community In order to enage in debate on future trends and policies we need to refer to the factors that might favour or hinder the rebuilding of community as advocated by communitarians. are more and more likely to have social networks consisting mainly of people like themselves (Green 1994). in public housing estates on the periphery of major cities and in the ethnic minority "ghettos" of the inner cities. and therefore politically compliant. But it is precisely this. people struggling with poverty. social cohesion at the national level and in a climate of acquisitive individualism to the possibility of solidarity and mutual care at the local neighbourhood level. based on assumptions of inherent conflict in global society. Wagner 1994. even if this were desirable. the impossibility of grand narratives and unambiguous theories that is a feature of the present age and the central "big idea" (sic. for the growth of communal solidarity and socio-political mobilisation. or however undesirable some of its unforeseen consequences might be. It seems unlikely. and the fragmentation of this "underclass" into ethnic and lifestyle sub groups may be enough to stave off their political mobilisation. A more critical form of sociology. a substantial number are counted among the excluded. But the result will certainly not be a society at ease with itself. While it may be possible for the market to keep at least two thirds of the population in the growing affluence to which they have become accustomed. with its apolitical fragmentation. however misguided their nostalgia. for there are many different perspectives which may throw light on the subject. The silver lining from a communitarians perspective is that there are in these circumstances increased possibilities for economic activity based on rules other than the market. or uprising. the breakdown of social cohesion may lead to the rebuilding of local oppositional and marginalised communities. and Lyon 1994). There is growing evidence of increasing geographic segregation of the "underclass" population from affluent neighbourhoods. As deprivation becomes concentrated in regions of economic decline such as former coalfields. One key national and international trend is the growing polarisation of the haves and the have nots. Thus in an unexpected way the very thing that communitarians fear. In an age when the rationality of the Enlightenment has burnt itself out it may be nigh on impossible to retain objectivity. In the discussion we will find many complexities and contradictions. One feature of the polarisation process may modify the picture. It would need a substantial input of . or whether they will remain dependent on the largesse of mainstream society depends on political choices which will not be easy for governments to make. In the changing contemporary world are features which in turn alarm and excite those who value the notion of community. It is not surprising that so many people long for the rebuilding of community.

and the growth of paid child-minding. and can be evaluated in monetary terms. Many people are not going to stand idly by and see their children and elderly relatives. education and the voluntary sector. and a powerful witness to the moral bankruptcy of post-modern individualism. where the possibility of a unifying truth or universal aesthetic is discounted. semen and processes such as in vitro fertilisation or surrogate motherhood have already been offered in the market place. and as information technologies enable worldwide communities of interest to coalesce more easily there will be many new opportunities. luncheon clubs and night shelters. seems to be under threat as discussion takes place on offering payment per pint. Increasingly market values come to dominate sectors which previously were seen as noncommercial. In philosophy. and needs to be held back if communitarian values are to prevail. Indeed one of the strongest critiques of postmodernist thinking is that it lacks any firm ethical base. The pick and mix approach to life also extends from the candy counter to the realm of values. Values for an alternative communitarianism While the sociological debates about modernity and postmodernity can give us useful insights into the nature of the social world in which the processes of community takes place. drawn from a treasure chest of earlier styles. such as health. and by extension their friends. collections for medical charities. will be among the last activities to warrant a pay packet. Despite all this community values continue to put up a low level resistance to market forces. despite feminist demands. commodification can be resisted in some areas. sitting on the management committee of the community centre. across the social spectrum. In this case. or the profitability of capital could bear. such projects will be essential for social well being. A minority of people will continue to offer generous help as individuals. The principle of voluntarism in local communities is certain to survive. while human organs. enjoys pick and mix culture. and more defeats than victories along the way.radical community organisation. by which every single good or service comes to have a price. blood donation (Titmuss 1970). or notion of social justice on which social and political action might be built. for the monetary costs would be immensely beyond what the resources of the state. But for community activism to flourish it needs to be underpinned by a philosophy that goes beyond considerations of cost saving and individual duty. We have described earlier the process of commodification. The withdrawal of the state from such services leaves a great opportunity for such community activity. neighbours and even homeless strangers neglected. (Kellner 1988. However. the philosophical approach of postmodernism is likely to prove barren. of the kind that capitalist states are least likely to sponsor or fund to transform resistance from sporadic sniping at the system to effective mass action. sociology and literature "all that is solid melts into air" in Karl Marx's phrase. One area which continues to hold out to the incursion of market forces is domestic labour and family care. and indulges itself in electronic global networking is no answer for the excluded and marginalised people of places like Newham. even religion or belonging to a community becomes a matter of consumer choice (O'Neill 1988). Running the local scout group. where unpaid labour (usually by women) is still the norm. A postmodernism which merely revels in the fragmentation. simply because they cannot afford to pay for basic care. Even the classic British example of the gift relationship. In the New Age environment where all is relative. the market mechanisms are less than perfect. and to organise together to form baby sitting circles. While most of the people involved will recognise that this is second best to the whole community of a nation state making adequate provision for welfare. not for profit. or being active in local politics. . and stuck together in a meaningless collage. Either way there is likely to be suffering and conflict both for their members and society as a whole. Baumann 1988). neighbourhood care schemes. into a plethora of narratives and images. where voluntary unpaid effort is both economically essential and central to the ethos. The same rationales apply to almost all of the community sector.

The fourth key value is that of Justice and Equality. where everyone will have a fair share of resources and an equal opportunity to flourish. although it needs to be guarded from idiosyncratic interpretations such as Thatcher's homily on wealth creation! The point of it is that care and responsibility must extend at some personal cost and risk across social boundaries to all whom we encounter. or extends to self sacrificial altruism. It is at this point that they distance us from the communitarian project of Etzioni. purpose and fullness of life in relationship with others. "Who is my neighbour?" demands an answer which goes beyond the end of the street and transcends natural friendship or in-group loyalty. As long as human beings remain imperfectly human. People are not by nature isolated individuals but only find meaning. potential. While on the one hand concern for justice often polarises conflict. and to resist the trend to be dominated by the market. indeed they matter more than things or money. and could offer a degree of liberation from enslavement to market forces and political vested interests. especially to those in need. The second key value is that of solidarity. However. the limited political and cultural context in which these are set. Etzioni lists commitment to democracy and the Bill of Rights. collective life and group action for its own sake while recognising the ambiguities. gender or any other given or ascribed characteristics. and respect for other groups. that begins from the bottom up. anti-sexism and other aspects of social justice are central to the enterprise today. as being basic to the United States community (Etzioni 1994 p157). The poor and the weak would not be excluded from participation. At the same time it must resist the temptations to romanticise and absolutise community. compromises and conflicts which community entails. although the details of policy must remain open to debate and political resolution. An alternative communitarianism therefore values building relationships. But the ground is less firm when they seek to specify the common core of these values. and the pragmatism of Alinsky. The parable of the Good Samaritan remains relevant. other than in the extreme case of antisocial behaviour where legal sanctions might apply. An alternative communitarianism presupposes some value in the Judaeo-Christian concept of neighbour love. opinions and contribution to society of every person however imperfect. For some these values will have a religious basis. especially when put into practice. class. that challenges the status quo. They have in them the seeds of an alternative form of communitarianism. distant the prospect this radical equality should remain a goal at local and global levels. or is guided by a utopian dream. For these values are likely to be in conflict with the dominant culture. An alternative communitarianism therefore needs to value the dignity. The nature of community they engender is largely an oppositional rather than a consensus one. on the other a concern for neighbouring and the very notion of . Alternative communitarianism is based on the doctrine that all people are created or born equal and looks forward to a world. neighbourliness reaches out to others. Whether this remains purely on the basis of self interest and mutual obligation. They should not however be seen as democratically derived consensus or lowest common denominator values which can become the shared basis of national life. Finally a longing for harmony between all people and the peaceful resolution of conflict must guide this alternative communitarianism. social and political life takes place in the arena of conflict.The communitarians are right about the importance of values as a pre-requisite for community. sharing resources. for others they are those of socialism or common human decency. community or mutuality (Holman 1993). to accept closure of the boundaries of particular communities and to impose community values and standards on unwilling individuals. Instead we will sketch some core values around which people of many faiths and none might engage in community development and organising. But they could be endorsed by most who see community work as a worthwhile task. together with their vagueness make them useless as a general framework for community life. and there would be no discrimination based on race. People matter. However. Therefore anti-racism. The first of these values is the importance. The third value is that of neighbourliness. one can even say sacredness of the human person.

convenient location or status. art and policies. A strategy Alternative communitarians will need to develop a praxis based on the values outlined above. They will be less concerned about their personal contribution. and accountability to the widest possible constituency will be very important. They will wish to live and organise according to their values. irrational and unmarketable. It is obvious that alternative communitarians will take different ideological positions over the role of conflict. However. only confront on "winnable issues"). Their approach seeks to be interpretive in valuing the experience and accounts of people. therefore ill at ease in a modern world. but they will resist the temptation to become fundamentalist and sectarian. politicians and intellectuals. in community development and political action. and their practice of politics would involve alliances with other marginalised groups in struggle for transformation. artists. It will imply taking responsibility for the welfare not only of partners and children. but of extended family. in all but the most extreme cases most will prefer to explore democratic. Their feminist reading of political and social theory rejects both liberalism with its stress on individual autonomy and standard communitarianism with its relatively naive view of homogeneous and consensual social structure. and that even an individual may respond in pragmatically different ways in specific conflicts (e. Although the oppression of women is for them a key issue it is by no means the only one. (persons in community if you will) and an understanding that social process and practices as well as social structure have an effect on social reality. It could mean cutting down on the time spent in employment. or as harbingers of the New Age. Instead they work from a relational concept of the human subject. but also critical or evaluative in recognising that inequalities and oppressions violate ethical norms. where a sense of shared values and heritage binds people together. negotiating. and across the illegitimate divide of public and private life. They recognise the pluralism and fragmentation of post-modern life.g. Perhaps their true significance is that they are of eternal value. They will have strong and distinct views. rather than as private individuals in anonymous residential estates. For most this will mean seeking to live as households in neighbourhoods. Strangely these values seem premodern. They seem at the same time both conservative and revolutionary. but more conscious that they and their products are inter woven with the social fabric which covers their nakedness! They will therefore want to acknowledge and support the role of ordinary people in community in shaping ideas. provided that such a group is not sectarian and inward looking. which will not always be politically popular. Honest open debate.community pushes in the direction of harmony. This has serious implications for those who are in any sense producers of culture and ideas. and of any fellow human being in need. Here they draw in part on Giddens notion of structuration (1984). They will be eager to be involved in community life. of neighbours and friends. for example choosing to live in a place because of closeness to personal networks rather than because of amenities. in collaboration with others who share all or part of their vision. In a postmodern world. Such change would be sought at the levels of language and culture. reputation and freedom of expression. but hold that it is still possible for individuals to remain integrated persons. constructive strategies before embarking on confrontations which have the potential for violence and destruction. Our alternative communitarianism has numerous affinities with the model of dialogical communitarianism advocated by Frazer & Lacey (1993). of the distribution of power and economic outcome. commuting and international . they may be more at home if only as nostalgia for the imagined communities of yesteryear. being drawn from a book inspired by one who was there in the beginning and will be there at the end of time. even when engaged in intra-personal dialogue and overlapping networks of relationships. Many alternative communitarians may find strength from belonging to a local religious congregation or faith community. To such a praxis for change we now finally turn. writers. An alternative communitarian lifestyle might also imply some self imposed restrictions on consumer choice. Alternative Communitarians will accept the need for a distinct lifestyle as active members of face to face communities.

London. For high earners at least. It involves solidarity with the socially excluded and entering into their struggles for social justice. not to mention computing. Finally alternative communitarianism entails moving beyond community development to political action. organisations and structures for voluntary involvement. simply by engaging in the struggle one bears witness to two timeless virtues. It would be recognised that some networks or organisations would be formed on a residential neighbourhood basis. Social analysis which points to international causes of oppression. enables sharing of experience and could build international solidarity as never before. will need campaigns and action at the global level. It is on these pillars alone that real community can be built. projects. Newcastle upon Tyne. However. Neighbours. / Bulmer M. with an emphasis on serving. (1986). petitions and direct action such as boycotts and demonstrations. for the purpose of giving more attention to other people's needs. Here perhaps information technology may have a role to play. While the fulfilment of such hopes is unlikely to be seen this side of Kingdom come. Health Authorities and Urban Development Partnership programmes. they are I believe less open to sloganising and ideological highjacking.. or at least to give away that which is surplus to basic needs. with lobbying. the work of Philip Abrams. However. Many community groups can be viable and effective without needing to take on bureaucratic formal management structures or paid staff. Time would be spent seeking to enable more people to become involved in the existing active networks of community life. and others on the basis of common interest with people gathered from a wider catchment area. Rules for Radicals. The Myth Of Return: Pakistanis In Britain. Bibliography A-D Abrams P.. Heinemann Educational . empowering and articulating the needs of the socially excluded. and developing a wider range of groups. Cambridge. in a society where taxation no longer attempts to redistribute wealth towards the poor. and will be best advised to stay in the world of the jumble sale and the informal chat over a cup of tea. Cambridge University Press ACUPA (Archbishop's Commission on Urban Priority Areas) (1985) Faith in the City. (1994). alternative communitarians will not ignore global responsibilities. New York. The agendas of this alternative communitarianism are modest. and more solidly rooted in social analysis of the postmodern condition. Where possible it means working for grass roots communities to be democratically and effectively represented in the local power structures such as the City Councils.. (1979). An active life as an alternative communitarian would demand a commitment to encouraging others in voluntarism and community involvement. (1972). Association of Community Workers Alinsky S. Justice and Love.Skills Manual for Community Work. Many such campaigns will be local or single issue movements. especially in comparison with those of the communitarian platform of Etzioni and his network. They fully recognise the messy and conflictual nature of human society and yet are informed by some of its nobler aspirations and ideals. Vintage Books Anwar M. as it aids networking and coalition building. London. Often there will be a need to campaign effectively from outside the structures. there is the challenge to turn down high salaries (Holman 1993). Church Information Office ACW (Association of Community Workers). Some such groups would inevitably develop into professionally run voluntary sector service agencies but the dangers of being co-opted by the state or seduced by the market need to borne in mind. and it may sometimes be difficult to choose between competing causes and conflicting marginalised groups in struggle.conferences.

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civic. (1994). is no longer available on the web Postman N. the URL for this ishttp:://gopher.. "No time like the present. Communities On-Line: A Study Of Community-Based Computer Networks.ca. London.us:70/0/Community/communets/laplaza/summit/taostalk. Cyberville and the Spirit of Community. available at http://alberti. "Aspects of Community networking. (1995).com Beamish A. "Urbanism as a Way of Life". (1994). The Ghetto.eff.org Scime R. (1994). (1995). "Communites and Cities". ed.the community as partners im medical and dental education". (1928).net:2400/00/cdiscv/cmtyandneighb/case Theise E. "I'm still not sure how housing affects peoples teeth . no longer available on web Schwarz E. and Wilmott.W. University of Chicago Press Wirth L. July 1995. Bath. (1977). Netguide. Harmonsdworth.. Many of them are already connected by hypertext hot links. Journal of Community Health UK. Family and kinship in East London.. Urban Trends 2. The Gold Coast and the slum. The Case for Community Development.Willmott P. It is recommended that users surf and explore. (1938).txt Other Internet resources for community work.civic. Penguin Wykurz G. American Journal of Sociology vol 44 Worseley P. Future Publishing Wirth L. Chicago. (1994). (1970).well.html Kapor M. (1976). Zorbaugh. 32: 16-18 Young M.S. (ed.edu/arch/4. P.mit.net:2400/00/cdiscv/cmtyandneighb/bldg_cmty Schull J.434@compuserve. (1957).. Chicago... Policy Studies Institute Winder D. an interview with Neil Postman". Big Dummy's Guide to the Internet. (1995). All you ever need to know about the Internet.sf... Howard Rheingold meet Amital Etzioni. Thesis Submitted to the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. .. Community Health Action. H. University of Chicago Press Internet References ATTACH (1995) Leaflet and further information available by Email from 100066. available at various sites but directly from http://www. using the standard search engines and directories of services which are available electronically.207/anneb/thesis/toc. (1995).. community research and communitarianism With the rapid expansion of Internet Services the aim of this section is simply to give a small number of useful entry points to a global information network.. On virtual Community". a sociological study of Chicago's Near North Side. Building Community in a neighbourhood avilable at gopher://gopher. Penguin edition 1962. (1991). available at gopher://gopher.).. Chap 7 in Introducing Sociology. London..

it/~joyce/cos The Canadian Communitarian forum is found at http://www.ac.unl.lsi.html The key site for Participatory Action Research is http://www.edu/insna..html The Communitarian Open site maintained by Dario Zanon in Itally is a useful discussion forum for communitarian ideas.uk/~wl04 INSNA the International Social Networks Association has a home page covering every aspect of social network analysis.org/~edcivic/iscvhome.html-ssi Virtual community etc The Morino Institute holds much useful information on community networking and virtual community at http://www.html A basic introduction to communitarianism is at http://www.edu/PUBPOL/PUBPOL-L/9602/0014.html .edu/~ccps/index.cpn.com/canforum.org/sections/tools/models/communitarianism. http://vega.html or http://libertynet. Philadelphia.hhh. It covers many issues around community development and community building.ac.World wide web sites for Communitarianism The COMMUNITARIAN NETWORK maintains a web page with the key Etzioni documents and a mailing list for discussion of communitarian themes.uk:8001/volnet. connect via http://www.edu/homepage.socy.ukans.uk/pra/test/main...unive.morino.uk/redkite/bea.html An archive of on line discussions on communitarianism are found at http://www.gre. see below).ac.gwu.ids.org/ Research resources on the Web ARVAC the Association for Research in the Voluntary and community sector has a prototype web site (linked with the Community Operations Research Network) at htttp://www. URL http://thecore.html and a trenchant critique by Bea Campbell at http://www. The URL ishttp://libertynet.democraticleft.html The Community Tool Box includes many resources for community development and is found at http://ctb.org/community/phila/nol.html Web sites for community issues and resources VOLNET an on line database for the voluntary and community sector.sc.html Neighbourhoods On-Line is the home page of the Institute for Civic Values.umn. A sample may be examined and details of how to subscribe can be seen by connecting to http://orca.canniff. It also operates a subscriber mailing list (Socnet .org.

ufl.uk). 8th Floor. 01483 259455. It interfaceswith UCINET and details are available from the same sources. Email pri@lmu.ufl.edu 4 PAR-talk an electronic mailing list for exchange of information about particiaptory research in .Everett@greenwich. Leeds LS2 8AJ.nerdc.cmu. Useful subscriber mailing lists CIVIC VALUES@CIVIC.NET the official mailing list for the Communitarian Network send one line Email message "subscribe COMMUNITARIANS your name" to majordomo@civic.G. Columbia University.ac. 16 Queen Square.nerdc. Guildford tel.uk/caqdas . from Policy Research Institute at Leeds Metropolitan University.surrey.net/policyri EPI INFO Public domain software for epedemiology and public health (useful and user friendly for local surveys) is produced by the Centers for Disease Control. Durning Hall.html Programs for Community Surveys and Data Analysis Compass. Georgia GA 30333.ac.theplanet.net 2 COMMUNITARIANS@CIVIC. New York NY 10027. USA Borgatti. the community profiling software. a very active list covering US political issues from a communitarian perspective 1 "subscribe CIVIC-VALUES your name" to majordomo@civic. STRUCTURE . Everitt and Freeman UCINET available by contacting Steve Borgatti at the University of South Carolina (Borgatti@sc.net 3 SOCnet@nervm.edu) or in UK contact Martin Everitt at University of Greenwich (M.soc. Krackplot has a web site at http://www. 420 West 118th Street. In case of difficulty contact Aston CIU.uk A web site is being developed at http://www.ac. Atlanta. from Center for the Social Sciences.NET co-ordinated by Ed Schwarz of Institute of Civic Values.. Krackplot is a utility to represent networks data graphically.edu/~krack/index. London E7 9AB. Their Web site is at URL http://www. tel. 0113 283 3225. Epidemiology Program Office.heinz.Software Programs for network analysis (all work on DOS/PCs) Burt R. For Qualitative Analysis of Textual Data Ethnograph (DOS) Text Base Alpha (Dos) NUDIST (Windows and Mac versions) The best information point for these and other programs is the CAQDAS project in the Sociology Department at the University of Surrey. USA and may be available free from friendly contacts in local Public Health Departments in the UK.edu see INSNA above subscribe by sending a one line subscribe message as above to "subscribe SOCNET your name" to LISTSERV@nervm.

ac.uk Version of November 20 1996 .ac.mailbase.community development subscribe by sending a one line subscribe message "subscribe PAR-announce-L firstname lastname " to LISTSERV@cornell.uk is a relatively new mailing list for youth and community workers see their associated web site for subscription details http://www.ac. Start from http://www.edu 5 In the UK community-Youth-work @mailbase.mailbase.uk/lists-a-e/community-youth-work There are many other useful mailing lists and Bulletin boards and usenet groups which are well catalogued at easily accessible Internet and Janet locations.

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