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.

Community and Identity

Community and identity

The root of the term ‘identity’ is ‘sameness’. The ‘problem’ of identity in psychology is generally seen as the problem of personal identity (‘who am I?), while the vexing issue of what precisely constitutes the identity of a particular individual through time and how this forms as a result of social interaction is generally taken up by sociologists. The term arises in community studies especially in connection with the issue of belonging (‘to what do I belong?’).

Section Outline: This chapter begins by distinguishing the relationship between community and identity as an enduring modern problem that we yearn to solve in a world that is always on the cusp of change. Thereafter, it considers how our efforts to define ourselves via appeals ...

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