This book defines the current identity of community studies, provides a critical but reliable introduction to its key concepts, and is an engaging guide to the key social research methods used by community researchers and practitioners.

Concise but clear, it caters for the needs of those interested in community studies by offering cross-referenced, accessible overviews of the key theoretical issues that have the most influence on community studies today.

It incorporates all of the important frames of reference including those which are:

Theoretical; Research focused; Practice and policy oriented; Political; Concerned about the place of community in everyday life

The extensive bibliographies and up-to-date guides to further reading reinforce the aim of the book to provide an invaluable learning resource.

Interdisciplinary in approach and inventive in its range of applications this book will be of value to students studying sociology, social policy, politics and community development.

Introduction and User's Guide

Introduction and User's Guide

Introduction and user's guide

The key concepts in this book are arranged into the six themes that comprise the crux of community studies; and within each of these themes, the chapters are arranged in alphabetical order, except the extended essay at the beginning of book ‘Setting the Record Straight: What is Community? And What Does it Mean Today?’ (You must read this chapter first.) As its title suggests, it is an important chapter in this book, as it sets out a way of understanding and appreciating the complexity of a concept that is impossible to escape from these days. However hard you try to avoid it, ‘community’ seems to spill from nearly every news report, leisure centre, police station, doctor's surgery, university ...

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