Tucson 's Sense Of Community Essay

Tucson 's Sense Of Community Essay

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The development of communities is a topic that is frequently discussed in the media, school, and daily conversation. However, even though the concept of community is extremely familiar, it is especially difficult to discretely define. Over the course of the semester, my own perceptions of the community that I am fundamentally a member of as a resident of Tucson have evolved greatly. Much of this growth can be attributed to learning to think more critically about the ideas of place and community through various class discussions about social systems, traditions, history, and numerous other aspects related directly to Tucson. To me, a community is a rather abstract and personal concept making it impossible to pinpoint an exact definition, but I know it to be the force that transforms a physical location into a home. Among many other elements, Tucson’s sense of community is primarily formed by cultural integration, engagement with other people, connection to place, and emotional understanding.
To begin, since a variety of distinct races and cultures reside alongside one another within Tucson, fostering an atmosphere of belonging is essential for building a sense of community. One of the class readings that made this concept especially clear was an excerpt from Enrique Salmón’s novel Eating the Landscape. Within his work, Salmón shares many of the significant memories and lessons from his childhood that shaped his cultural identity. He writes, “The knowledge I learned from my family was one aspect of a trove of culturally accumulated ecological knowledge… Through this way of knowing, I realized a comfort and a sense of security that I was bound to everything around me in a reciprocal relationship” (Salmón 2). Through this passage, Sa...


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... can be different for virtually everyone, but for me as I have sought to integrate myself into Tucson’s community, it is a direct result of forming a relationship with everything that I am surrounded by. A sense of community is one of belonging and instead of encouraging conformity, a community celebrates the diversity and talents of all of its members. It is a feeling that is fueled by engaging with neighbors and appreciating the contribution that each member brings to creating a secure and comfortable place to live. By developing an awareness of the history, present, and future of a specific place, a greater sense of personal meaning can fuel a stronger connection to that physical location. All of these elements when fueled by emotional connection, serve as the underlying foundation and driving force that make a community such a special thing of which to be a part.

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