A Research Approach On The Concept Of Community

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The paper will now introduce a further analytical approach in addition to its previous profile. The second part will seek to find the bona fide implications of the concept of ‘community’, followed by reaching a conclusion as to whether a sense of ‘community’ as such is present in the chosen area.

Why define community? In today’s society, the usage of the word has been overreached and its saturation has left the modern society to develop the concept of community more around interests rather than locality (Durkheim, 1964). Although, both equally quintessential in an individual’s life, they do not need to exclude each other as Gusfield (1975) has identified two separate and valid forms of community. A ‘relational’ notion of community that deals with the quality of human interactions and a secondary one, a territorial usage of the term that applies to neighbourhoods, towns, cities, etc. In relation to the aforementioned relational community, studies suggest a further division; four types of community commitment have emerged from Riger et al. (1981): extent of residential roots, feelings of attachment, usage of local amenities and the amount of social interaction with neighbours.

A number of specific elements such as voluntary participation in local community institutions, home ownership, neighbourhood involvement, length of residence are pertinent to the four types of community commitment; and provide a method through which it could be predicted if a certain area possesses an overall sense of community (Chavis et al., 1986).

The functions of a community are highly influenced by the role of power and when the influence of a locality is threatened, the whole community is vulnerable (Bernard, 1973). A way to combat this is thorough...

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...mon goal are called Gemeinschaft, whereas the ones based on the attaining of self-goals are classed as Gesellschaft. Therefore, the town of Neath seems to be placed in the middle of being a strong united community (raising funds for Christmas lights) and just acting as a civil society.

As a conclusion, it is important to observe that Neath has multiple statuses when it comes to being a community and holds the example of a real-world, modern community with an optimum balance between gemeinschaft and gesellschaft. Strong ties and a healthy community ethos exists throughout Neath, yet there are indications that some behavioural experiences diminish the sense of community. Nonetheless, there is hope that socially excluded individuals will be reached and this will facilitate the development of a greater sense of community in Neath, therefore creating a virtuous cycle.
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