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.



As the great Czech novelist-cum-philosopher Milan Kundera (2002) points out in his novel Ignorance, the word ‘nostalgia’ is derived immediately from the Greek Nostos (return) and Algos (suffering). In its primary sense, therefore, the idea is suggestive of the sort of anguish that is caused by ‘an unappeased yearning to return’. Full of the ache and melancholy of reminiscence for home, its meaning freighted with implication, ‘nostalgia’ is the word for what will always be yet never quite was. Raymond Williams once remarked that we also need to understand community in a similar way; that is, as a special way of being together that ‘always has been’. What this suggests is not only that community is always accompanied by its own conflicting and ambivalent tug ...

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