Community Chapter 6.docx

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Colleen Loomis

Definition of Community: (Sarason) “a readily available, mutually supportive networkd of relationships on which one could depend Definition of Psychological Sense of Community (Sarason) perception of similarity to others acknowledge interdependence with other… Types of Community: 1. Locality-Based Community - Includes city blocks, neighbors, small towns… - Interpersonal ties based on geographic proximity exist between members - Individuals identify themselves by their locality - Political representation, public school districts and other social organizations delineated by locality 2. Relational Community - Defined by interpersonal relationships and a sense of community—not limited to geography - I.e., internet discussion groups, mutual help group, student clubs, religious congregations - Bound by a common task or mission - Relational communities often seated in locality - Collective power structure, political interests, working for a common goal of influence BOTH FORM A SPECTRUM RATHER THAN DICHOTOMY Levels of Community: Micro (Classroom); Organization (Workplace); Localities (Cities, Neighborhood); Macro (Political Parties/Nation) - Communities are related across levels - Connections with families and friends should be considered social networks - Mediating Structures: Organizations that connect communities Sense of Community in Neighborhoods and Localities Types of Neighbourhoods: - Characterized by sense of neighborhood identity, level of internal interaction, degree of external linkages - Integral, parochial, diffuse, stepping stone, transitory, anomic Example: YOUTUBE VIDEO ( - Dancing rabbit ecovillage sustainable community is group of individuals living together and trying to be sustainable - Want to show people it is possible and inspire them to live more sustainably - Live out a shared value but still go about life - They do a lot of things the same as any other individual (i.e., work, bring up children, etc.) but they also do things differently (i.e., use solar energy, grow their own food, two vehicles between all of them, etc.) - Main effect is to inspire people to make a difference and become more sustainable Sense of Community: - Strength of bonding among community members - Four elements of sense of community (McMillian-Chavis 1986 Model): - *all 4 elements must be present to define a sense of community; they all strength each other 1) Membership: Has 5 attributes 1. Boundaries—necessity of defining what includes/excludes members (may be clearly or obscurely markers; may be rigid or permeable) 2. Common symbols—identify members or territories (i.e., colours/symbols among gangs, national flag) 3. Emotion Safety—this can mean safety from crime or secure relationships for sharing feelings 4. Personal investment—indicate long-term commitment to a community (i.e., home ownership, member at a church, charity work) 5. Belonging and identification—accept by members, defines personal identity party in terms of membership in the community (i.e., student at university) 2) Influence: - Refers both to power that members exercise over the group and to the reciprocal power the group dynamics exert on members - Most influential persons are often those to whom the needs of others matter most - The individual influences the wider group/community and that community influences the views and actions of the person 3) Integration and Fulfillment of Needs - Concerns horizontal relations among members - Two aspects: 1. Shared values—ideals that can be pursued through community involvement (i.e., worship in religious community) 2. Exchange of resources—satisfying needs and exchanging resources among community members. Needs may be physical or psychological 4) Shared Emotional Connection - “Definitive element” involves “spiritual bond” - May share bond through be
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