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.

Imaginary Communities

Imaginary communities

Not to be confused with ‘imagined communities’, this is the term employed by Phillip E. Wegner (2002) in his attempt to identify, describe and analyse communities that are always a fantastical projection. In other words, these are communities that offer alternative ways of conjuring, narrating and making the world. To this extent, imaginary communities are interpretive or hermeneutic and have their essence in Romanticism (life as an act of artistic and inventive creation), which can be contrasted with the Technologism (life as a technological problem to be solved): imagination in opposition to reason and goals means rationality, subjectivity in opposition to objectivity, and poetic, private introspection against prosaic, social institution.

Section Outline: The starting point of this chapter is the argument that community ...

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