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The concept of community has appeared regularly throughout urban studies and is generally employed in reference to all aspects of the social life of cities, including population size, demographic distribution, and neighborhood composition. Traditionally used by anthropologists, sociologists, geographers, and urban planners to signify a set of social relationships operating within a specific boundary, location, or territory, community is arguably one of the most contested concepts used in the study of the city and society. Many of these usages are either actual or ideal in description, and it is often difficult to separate analytical from normative usages of the term.

Although conventionally evoked to describe the characteristics of a specific locality or area, the idea of community has also been used in far more ideological terms ...

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