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.

Imagined Communities

Imagined communities

The idea of ‘imagined communities’ is taken from the work of Benedict Anderson, who developed it in order to examine the rise of the modern nation-state. Anderson's work suggests that although the nation-state is an entity that is very much taken for granted by most people, the process by which its rise occurred was the outcome of an extraordinary set of events that involved a recasting of the ways that societies both thought about themselves and communicated with the outside world. What this suggests is that not only is connection where modern community lies, but also that territory becomes important when it registers with the collective imagination.

Section Outline: As Anderson observed, the nation is the ultimate ‘imagined’ community because it signifies the idea ...

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