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In: 21st Century Sociology

Chapter 46: The Sociology of Community

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The Sociology of Community
The sociology of community

As a sociological concept, community has been used to refer to a range of social phenomena. In a critical analysis of the concept, Joseph Gusfield (1975:xv–xvi) contended that there are two major usages of community. First, the concept is used to refer to a physical territory, or geographic area, where human beings reside and/or work. Second, community is used to refer to the quality or character of human relationships that bind persons to each other to form a social group. Many sociological studies of community focus on one of these definitions, while others have combined both usages. As will be described below, other studies have used a different definition of community altogether. Because of the diversity of definitions ...

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