Essay On Communities

What Is A Community? Essay

A community is established when more than two people share the same values and through time this personal connection evolves into a fellowship governed by rituals, traditions, and a particular form of communication that when taken together makes a group of individuals whether living in a specific geographical area or connected by ideals so distinct that their distinguishing marks allow them to stand out from among the crowd. They do not just believe in something like an organization but they need each other to survive and thrive. A good example is the Old Order Amish Mennonite community wherein the community serves as source of identity, strength and provides the reason why they should sustain the community’s way of life.
It is important to understand that in order for a community to exist at least three conditions must be met: a) place; b) interest; and c) communion (Smith, p.1). There must be a territory or place where people can congregate or can be seen (Smith, p.1). The location also helps identify the community and differentiate its members from other groups. The common interests shared by the members create a tight-knit community. Some examples of interests found in communities are religion, occupation, ethnic origin and even hobbies.
Aside from location and interest one of the most important components is communion. There must be a connection between the members of a particular community. Without this communion, the coming together, a profound sharing of ideas, resources etc., there can be no community but a group of individuals banded together simply because of proximity such as those living in a gated community in an upscale neighborhood but the residents do not know each other. A more technical definition of a community was given by students of sociology who wrote:
A community is a group of people connected by the physical location in which they dwell or congregate, organizations they form, and cultural values and symbols they share. Communities are affected, and in a sense defined by, forces that affect community members and their space. The forces can range from outside organizations such as the government and large corporations … These components of the community vary infinitely, and thus no two communities are the same; even a given community is not the same over time (Cnaan & Milofsky, p. 1)
Based on this definition it is interesting to note that the Old Order Amish Mennoite community satisfies the requirements of place, interests and communion. Aside from being a perfect example of a community the Amish people exemplify what it means to be a part of a community that it is their source of identity, strength, and sustainability. Each individual exists for the community but as a whole the community nurtures each member and therefore it is unthinkable for an Amish man or woman to leave their community behind. On the other hand many Americans feel they must “get involved.” In public life as well as in private, we...

Loading: Checking Spelling

0%

Read more

Community Corrections: Is it really a sensible alternative to prison?

1542 words - 6 pages It is only in the last 30 years that community corrections have become a substantial part of the correctional system. Beginning in the 1950s, national attention was focused on the development of alternative, community-based correctional services. In the early stages of the community corrections movement, local institutions, residential centers, group homes and specialized probation services were promoted as alternatives to incarceration. In...

What do you percieve to be the values of a community. From community development class. fourth year.

1516 words - 6 pages To be a part of a community is to be a part of a team, a team that focuses on and encompasses all it's members. The community should be one that is built on the common interests of its members, a community that creates a sense of belonging to a group that goes beyond family and friends, accompanied by a sense of loyalty to others and responsibility for neighbours and the surrounding area.This paper will be a reflection of the learning...

In what ways could it be said that community is exclusive and if so, in what ways could it be

676 words - 3 pages The object of this essay is to explain the origins of the concept of community. Also, howthe major changes in social life, particularly following the industrial revolution, promptedPhilosophers, Sociologists, and Anthropologists to reach a greater understanding of thebehavioural patterns of the people of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. An explanation of thedevelopment of Sociologist's typologies will be...

Is the Virtual Community of Any Value? If so what are the Advantages of Online Discussion Forums over Real Society?

1306 words - 5 pages There are some that raise warnings about the 'hype' surrounding the recent exponential growth of the Internet. They rightly observe that high promises were heard concerning previous media's potential for vastly improving education, accessibility of knowledge, and human community. They are correct to be cautious, but I feel that they also miss the vital differences between...

The Community in The Giver is Not a Better Alternative to Contemporary Australian Society

866 words - 3 pages The Giver, by Lois Lowry, was published in 1993, and caused worldwide controversy over its views on conformity, communism, and euthanasia. It is about a character named Jonas, who lives in a conformist community where there is no colour, emotions, love, weather and most importantly, choice. This community is inferior to the modern day Australian community. The community in The Giver, which is led by a committee of Elders, does not allow for any...

Explain The Quote: "Truth Is That To Which A Community Settles Down" (Charles Pierce)

1593 words - 6 pages "Truth Is That To Which A Community Settles Down" (Charles Pierce) The question of truth and falsehood has been wrapped in unnecessary mystery owing to a number of causes. In the first place, people wish to think that their beliefs are more apt to be true than false, so that they seek a theory that will show that truth is normal and falsehood more or less accidental. In the second place, people are very vague as to what they mean by...

School and Community Portrait What makes a good school? What makes a good teacher? Does this school help the student to achieve the American Dream?

7898 words - 32 pages Abstract:The following paper addresses three main research questions regarding Pleasantville High School, in Pleasantville, NY. I spent half a day, once a week for seven weeks observing for the most part a physics class taught by Mr. Greg Dimurro, where I kept notes in an observation log. The three questions I address are was it a good school, was Mr. Dimurro...

Community Psychology essay discussing the idea of change and whether or not it is good for people as a whole.

1002 words - 4 pages Community PsychologyCHANGE: THE HARDEST THING FOR ANY OF US TO DOThink about how hard it is for us to change a habit, one that we have had for a really long time, so long that we cannot distinguish or remember a time when we didn't have the habit. If it is so hard to change a habit on an individual level, how are we supposed to change a habit on a...

God Creates a Lesson Learned From Tragedy The essay is written as a news reporter, who is telling how the religous community felt about the titanic sinking.

830 words - 3 pages On April 15 the world was shocked when the first reports came out about the sinking of the RMS Titanic. The RMS Titanic of the White Star Line was the largest ship the world had ever known. (The Sinking of the S.S. Titanic). The ship was sailing from Southampton to...

Explain why you might think observing visible religious activity can help you to understand what part religion plays in a community?

981 words - 4 pages Religion is an idea with many different interpretations, especially amongst varied societies, and cultures. Most people have some idea of what a religion is, whether they are insiders, outsiders or don't-know. It is commonly thought that our interpretations and assumption of what exactly a religion is are founded by our surroundings in society and the communities we live in. The six major world religions are Christianity, Islam, Buddhism,...

Race and My Community: Hispanic This essay is about the study of the race a belong to in my community and any discrimination that anyone like me may have.

1706 words - 7 pages My Community 1Race and My Community: HispanicSandra PerezAxia Collage University of PhoenixMy Community 2Race and My Community: HispanicI am Sandra J Perez born American and rise in Puerto Rico making me part of the Hispanic minority. We, Hispanic are the second large groups in the population in Kissimmee, FL. All troughs founding some information about my ethnic (Hispanic)...

For example, Robert Park, one of the first American Sociologists to define the term stated, “The essential characteristics of a community, so conceived are those of: (1) a population territorially organized, (2) more or less completely rooted in the soil it occupies, (3) its individual units living in a relationship of mutual interdependence”(Lyons, p. 5). In contrast to this, Minar and Greer defined a community so that it may include a large corporation, Kuhn said that a community may be an informal professional group such as the “scientific community”, and Nisbet stated that a even a philosophical and psychological commitment to communal lifestyles could be considered community (Lyons 1999). While all of these may be acceptable definitions of community to one person, some or all may be completely unacceptable to someone else. In my studying of community, I would define it similarly with Park. Community, in my opinion, can be defined as a group of people within a small area (generally smaller than a city or town), who share common social ties or have common social goals, and who have interaction among each other.
When studying community development, one must analyze what currently exists and then try to create ways for improvement or enhancement. Thus, I believe that the best way to do that is to simplify community into one of its smallest aspects without being so narrow that you’re only studying individuals or people without any common ties on which to compare. In addition to this, development within a community is often a rigorous process and thus cannot focus on too large of an area or group at once. If it does so then one end or segment of the city or town is often not considered as important of an area. Moreover, what may be the goal of one portion of the town may be totally dissatisfying to other segments, which could cause many problems if each community within a town is forced to develop among the same common lines.

The most common theme among definitions of community is that it consists of people. Another theme that is very common is that there must be some type of common tie to hold the people together. In each of the above definitions this is true. Robert Park spoke of a mutual interdependence, which is much like the social ties or goals that I use. In Minar and Greer’s “large corporation,” the common tie is the type of business that the corporation relates to or carries out. In Kuhn’s “scientific community,” science or perhaps scientific paradigms is the common tie. Nisbet’s philosophical or psychological commitment to communal lifestyles may or may not be a physical tie but shares the communal lifestyle as a common theme or bond. In each of the three latter definitions of community, it seems that the only tie that holds them together is that of people and a shared or common tie. While these are all important attributes of community, they cannot stand alone for the purpose of studying community development for many reasons.

Comparison is important in studying community. Thus, it would be difficult to study a comparison of a corporation, scientific communities, and philosophical commitments to communal lifestyles for the purpose or community development. The three are virtually completely independent and have no ties other than they each share people and within each particular group, share common ties. Moreover, Ferdinand Tonnies concepts of Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft have long been and continue to be one of the most useful notions used for studying and comparing communities and community development. While some people may consider Minar and Greer, Kuhn, and Nisbet’s ideas as a community or type of community, it would be difficult to imagine how studying a comparison of each of these could have any useful bearing on community development, especially in terms of Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft.

Finally, people within communities must have interaction for a community to exist. While the interaction may be fairly insignificant among certain peoples within the community there should be considerable amounts among most members. For example, in a larger, modern-day neighborhood, if each house was filled with middle-income, college graduates, each married with two children who are roughly the same age and whose children all attend the same schools (giving a social tie or connection among each family living in the neighborhood) there still could be no community among the neighborhood if there was no interaction among any of the people who live there. Without the interaction, each would be strangers living amongst themselves, and in doing so would take the community aspect away.

Robert Park’s definition of community is far more defining and inclusive than any of the other previous definitions discussed above, however, I don’t fully agree with him either. The second part of his definition mentioned being predominantly rooted in the soil. While I’m not quite sure whether he meant “rooted” as in being born and raised there or “rooted” as in just living there, I will assume that he was using the first or the two. If you look at the same large neighborhood mentioned above but with a few changes, I think I’ll be able to make my point more clear. In that neighborhood, if the same people lived there with all of the same characteristics, except for that there was a very high level of social interaction among the adults and children, it would be quite possible to think of the neighborhood as a community. Taking the example further, if within the neighborhood, there was a park, exercise facility, swimming pool, neighborhood convenience store, etc., and there was communal babysitting amongst certain members for the smaller children and carpooling to school for the older children, it would become more likely to think of this as a community. In that, if there were approximately 100 houses in which half were occupied for several years, another 20 were occupied for about two or three years, 20 for about one year, and the other 10 had become occupied within the last two or three months, there is really no sense of “roots” among many of the members, however there is still enough of a system in place for the community to exist and continue. Moreover, each member of the community or neighborhood might be from different parts of the country or at least from different cities and are therefore do not have family or historic “roots” within the community.

Granted, the above example is completely hypothetical, but there are similar neighborhoods popping up all over suburban America. Whether any of these neighborhoods meet any of the combined attributes to be a community, I do not know because I have not done any specific studies, however I think that there probably are some out there. While it is true that many different definitions for community exist, I believe that for the purpose of studying community and community development the best definition is a group of people within a small area (generally smaller than a city or town), who share common social ties or common goals, and who have interaction among each other.

You can order a custom essay, term paper, research paper, thesis or dissertation on Community related topics at our professional custom essay writing service which provides students with custom papers written by highly qualified academic writers. High quality and no plagiarism guarantee! Get professional essay writing help at an affordable cost.

0.00 avg. rating (0% score) - 0 votes

Tags: community essay, community research paper, community term paper, essay community service, sociology essays

0 comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *