In Rhoda Halperin’s Practicing Community: Class, Culture, and Power in an Urban Neighborhood, over six years of anthropological research was conducted in the East End community of Cincinnati, Ohio. This book presented how East Enders were wanting to preserve their community as it was subjected to sudden changes, such as urban and economic developments. Halperin included narratives and viewpoints from various East Enders in order to voice the community and their concerns, additionally allowing readers to envision how the community was progressing through the variations of development. In conclusion of reading Practicing Community, I was able to fully understand how topics learned in class correlated with the purpose of the book.
Overall, I considered the book to be a very interesting read. In Practicing Community, I was able to empathize with the community of the East End through the book. In my opinion, Halperin did an excellent job with gathering data with the purpose of showing readers how the alterations were impacting a close-knit community. With this, she was able to demonstrate the difficulties of empowerment, identity, and control throughout the East End. Although these changes were occurring, I was astounded by how much the community worked together and did not let the outsiders and developers intimidate them or prevent them from their ultimate goal, preserving their home in addition to the home of others.
What is community? It appears to be a term that is used commonly, yet there is not a specific definition to interpret what it really means. Personally, I believe that community consists of kinship networks among residents of a certain area, different routines that cont...
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...nd community as well. Likewise, this validates that children are aware of the situations and struggles that the adults are faced with these modifications. Therefore, this indicated the teenager acknowledged her as well as others’ source of identity of being an East Ender.
In conclusion, I was able to clearly understand the importance of community and identity as I have learned before in class. Although there is not a clear definition of what community really is, it is significant to incorporate it as a support system and a way to connect people from different or similar backgrounds. Despite the challenges the East Enders had to face, having a sense of identity and having strong kinships with family and the community kept them going. Ultimately, it is apparent that the original, genuine East Enders belong to the community and the community itself belongs to them.
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