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.

A Theory of Community

A theory of community

This chapter draws its inspiration from the philosopher Agnes Heller (1999) in order to present a theory of community. In other words, it offers one theory of community among any number of possible theories.

Section Outline: After problematizing the idea of community in the sociological tradition of thought, the chapter traces its historical career progress in the light of the substitution of modernity for feudalism. It is suggested that community went from being a way of life that was total, transcendent, universal, unified and all-seeing to a dead thing, whose prospects of being made real are only possible through the human imagination.

The word ‘community’ is encountered everywhere these days, notably not only in the writings of communitarian philosophers, sociologists and ...

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