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.

The ‘Dark Side’ of Community

The ‘dark side’ of community

Where the trend is to proffer a wholly positive view of community, what is offered here is a critical deconstruction, a diagnosis of the darkness beneath the surface brightness. What this chapter demonstrates is that to think community is often to forget cultural difference and create hostilities, animosities and/or feuds, which operate as part of an elaborate classificatory symbolic realm of forced differentiation that engrosses some and horrifies others in the same measure – connections that turn simple understandings of good on its head, and ultimately imbue the Other with a history of evil, violence and misunderstanding.

Section Outline: After demonstrating that the bright and the dark sides occupy parallel universes in any community milieu, this chapter ...

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