The term “community” has an odd power. It offers a feeling of community and optimism. It conveys both camaraderie and homeliness. And what is community explain why and how community identity are constructed
Here are some of the elements that I believe a definition of community should be able to describe in order to represent the diverse communities throughout the globe and be effective as a tool for social study.
A definition of community must account for the many forms of communities that exist in the world. For example, it must be able to account for both a community of location and something more diffused, such as “the intellectual community” or “the Islamic community.”
It must be able to account for the positive feelings that people have about “community” (e.g., a sense of togetherness), but without implying that “community” is necessarily good (after all, one of the best examples of a community is the Mafia, and even with the kindest reading of their activities, you’d struggle to argue that, on balance, they are a force for good in the world).
It must be able to explain the feeling of identification and belonging associated with “community.” It must explain how we feel when a community of which we are a member is lauded or insulted. And it must explain why some individuals are members of a given community while others are not.
It must be able to explain why “community” has the normative (moral) force that it does – how communities change our understanding of what “good” and “evil” entail. For example, our community molds our common idea of what it is to be a good neighbor.
It must be able to describe how “community” differs from other social groupings such as “society,” “family,” or just a collection of individuals.
It must account for the reality that persons might be members of many communities at the same time.
This means, a group of people who share a story that is so important to them that it defines an aspect of who they are. Those people build the shared story archetypes (characters) of that community into their sense of themselves; they build the history of those communities into their own personal history; and they see the world through the lens of those shared stories.
So, one of the communities that I consider myself to be part of is the community based around the city of Newcastle. The manifestations of this are that I take pride in showing people around the city. I feel slighted when people say horrible things about it. I feel at home whenever I hear a Geordie (Newcastle) accent (despite not having one myself). And so on.
But what makes me part of this community is my choice to write Newcastle’s stories into my own story: the character traits for how Geordies are supposed to behave (be friendly, talk to strangers at bus stops, support Newcastle United etc etc) are character traits that I have adopted.
I take part in shared events where this story is played out — such as attending football matches at St James Park and other cultural events in the city. I feel that arguments about the future of the city (should this building be built here? What green spaces does the city need? etc etc) are arguments about my own future. I see arguments about the UK’s future through the lens of the future of Newcastle.
It is this choice to participate in the making and remaking of these stories about the city that makes me part of the community of Newcastle. It’s not just about where you live, or where you work: it is possible to live and work in Newcastle without doing these things, without becoming part of this community.
And there are many people who are from Newcastle originally, but who now live elsewhere, who would still consider themselves part of the Newcastle community because they still take an active part in conversations about what it means to be a part of this community.
Let’s see how this definition works against the six key criteria for being an accurate and useful definition of “community”:
It can account for all the different kinds of community — what people call “communities of interest” and “communities of place”. The essence of community is a shared story — that story can be about a place, or it can be about a religion, or any other social practice. It challenges the notion of “communities of identity” by saying that all communities are communities of identity, so “community of identity” isn’t a helpful concept (it’s tautological).
It can account for the positive feelings people have about being part of a community. The sense of a shared identity, of being part of something larger than we are, is well known as a source of good feeling. But it is also morally-neutral. Being part of a community is just part of how we live our lives.
Communities can be positive social forces, doing good in the world, and they can be negative, doing harm (and they can be both of those things at once). Community is not, in and of itself, morally praiseworthy. It just is.
This definition of community explains the nature of shared identity in communities, and highlights the specific mechanism by which this occurs. It is the process of telling a story about yourself that draws on the shared cultural story archetypes which creates and maintains a shared identity.
It is the process of a set of people sharing (and arguing) about a particular set of stories — their meaning, interpretation and value — that reinforces those social bonds and creates the shared cultural resources.
It explains why community has the normative (moral) force that it does, because it is our narratives that provide us with our explanations for what good/bad look like.
A good neighbour is someone who fits the story we tell ourselves about how a good neighbour behaves, a good colleague is someone who fits with the archetype of how that character behaves etc. Our narratives provide our moral framing.
It explains why “community” is different from other types of social groups. A community is a group with a shared identity-forming narrative.
This is different from the set of people who live in a place, or have a shared interest. A group of people waiting at a bus stop have a shared interest, but they are not a community. (Unless they’ve been waiting for a really long time…)
The definition understands that people can be part of many communities simultaneously, and also how they can become part of (and drift away from) particular communities. It also is able to account for the tension that people can feel when they are part of multiple communities — when different aspects of their identity-defining stories clash, for example.
Communities build their identities around objective criteria including territorial locations, shared historical memory, similar customs, common rituals and practices, a common language, and a real or imagined common ancestry. These elements elicit sentiments of belonging among community members.
Community identity is developed via a socialization process that includes constant discourse, negotiation, and sometimes conflict with key persons (these directly involve in our lives). Such as our parents, family, kin group, and community.
Community identities are crucial as motivators for individuals, groups, and organizations to develop pride, self-esteem, unity, a feeling of belonging, and social responsibility. Promoting the development of community identities necessitates a learning process based on community empowerment and social capital.
These features include the community’s history and relationships with others, its current social structure, cultural values, and the way it governs itself.
A community is a well-known thread that brings individuals together to advocate for and support one another in the struggle to defeat such dangers. We require a feeling of belonging as humans, and that sense of belonging is what binds us to the myriad connections we form.
https://bowie1983book.com/ will answer what is community explain why and how community identity are construacted