Small Communities

When is a community not a community?

In almost every discussion of the Big Society or social enterprise the term ‘community’ is prominent. It might be that a community has taken over a local asset or is about to, a community could be wresting power back from local or central government or in other ways becoming more engaged and empowered.

When we think about the future shape of society, communities are centre-stage. We might see them as actors in their own right. But what exactly is a community, and do we need to update our understanding of this term?

At popse we want to question the idea that a series of people living in the same area should always be referred to as a community. Perhaps some neighbourhoods, villages or estates are working communities just as others are not. In that case, what is a working definition of community?

On Thursday morning we want to evolve an understanding of community that incorporates our 21st century levels of mobility and identity, and the possibility of opting-in to a local community as well as opting-out.

What did community mean originally?

What has this word come to mean and why?

Does every community need a geographic base?

When is a neighbourhood an aggregate and not a community?

Is popse a community in its own right, and if so why?

One Response to Small Communities

  1. Ivor Sutton says:

    A community isn’t a community when it just doesn’t feel like one. Engagement, inspiration, encouragement, inclusion, debates and solutions, I believe, are all worthy components of a strong foundation. Furthermore, these components install VISION – to those who have become dissilusioned by politics; and OPPORTUNITY for those who would otherwise feel lost and frustrated by the lack of quality support from Job Centres. It’s a good start!

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