Ad 1: people grow up in family and make friends in the neighborhood or the village of their youth.they keep contact with F&F even if they relocateAd2. e.g this is the case for people who are socially isolated happen to meet each other and become friends, or in a neighbourhood without much communication between residents, one or a few organize a party in order to stimulate new relationships.
Think of traditional relationshipsNew online relationshipsHow does the Internet help to sustain existing relationships offline
1 Unit 5. Human Social Nature & Community Nadia Dresscher
Objectives for Unit 5: 2 Explore the concept of community its properties its changing nature in time focus on conditions that favor communities Introduce 2 modes of human social behavior Refine the concept ofcommunity by relating community to the concepts of: reciprocity social capital
Class Assignment: The meaning of community 3 Form groups of 4 or 5 students Brainstorm on the meaning of the concept community for you all, answer these questions: How would you describe a community in your own words? What are the properties of a community? What does the unique individual mean to the communities he/she belongs too To which communities you consider yourself belonging to? Each student in the group can belong to a different community Identify these communities Write this all down in order to share this with the whole class
Approaching Community 4 As a value: Solidarity, commitment, mutuality, trust, fellowship, communal, communication As a descriptive category or set of variables : In terms of Place: territorial, people have something in common, this shared element is geographically/ ‘locality’
Approaching Community 5 In terms of interest: ‘elective’ communities, people share a common characteristic other than place. They are ‘linked’ together by factors (share some common binding ground) such as religion, occupation, culture, socio-economic status, hobbies, ideologies, ethnic origin, cybergroups, sexual-orientation etc. We talk about Aruban community, religious community, neighborhood, childhood friends,etc. To study of identity/selfhood plays an important role for the understanding of the approach of non-place community
Approaching Community 6 Communion: sense of attachment to a place, group or idea ----- Communities have meaning to its members: how? It plays a important role in generating people’s sense of belonging A Community suggests that members of a group have something in common with each other and the thing held in common distinguishes them in a significant way from the members of other groups
Similarity and difference 8 A question of boundary What marks the beginning and the end of a community? Some might suggest, boundaries may be marked On a map? In law? By physical features like a road, river, sea? Religion? Linguistic?
However, not all boundaries are so obvious… 10 They may be thought; existing in the minds of the member (beholders of the thought) : meaning is given to a community in order of it to become a community As such they may be seen in in very different ways, not only by the people on either side, but also by people on the same side This symbolic aspect of community boundary is important if we want to understand how humans experience communities The defining of a boundary places some people within and some beyond the line (inclusion/exclusion)
Community as network and local social system 11 The fact that people live close to each other does not necessarily mean that they have much to do with each other (e.g. they may be little interaction between neighbors) It is the nature of the relationships between people and the social networks of which they belong to are seen as one of the most important aspects of community
Community, norms and habits: 12 Whether individuals are disposed to engage with one another is dependent upon the norms of a particular society or community and to the extent to which individuals make these norms and habits as theirs Assignment: Identify these norms/habits for the communities you named in your class assignment to judge to quality of life within a particular community, we need to explore what shared expectations there are about the way people should behave and whether different individuals take these on!
3 types of qualities that are common when approaching communal life: 13 Tolerance:an openness to others, curiosity, perhaps even respect, a willingness to listen and learn Reciprocity:a definition for now: “I’ll do this for you now, without expecting anything immediately in return and perhaps without even knowing you, confident that down the road you or someone else will return the favor” (Putman 2000). Trust: the confident expectation that people, institutions and things will act in a consistent, honest and appropriate way (trustworthiness/reliability).social trust
A brief history of communities 14 Gather & Hunter period: Communities were much prevalent compared to now: Reason for this: humans did not produce food, but gathered on a day-to-day basis So it was important to have an effective division of tasks and sharing resources. Community then meant SURVIVAL Reciprocity relations, egalitarianism ( idea that everybody is equal), empathy, bonding, paternal care, ‘it takes a whole village to raise a child’, large group size etc.
Humans start producing food (agriculture) 16 Humans started to produce their own food by means of domestication of plants and animals had effect on communal life Birth of (economic) markets: transactions (I give you 20 corns, you give me a fat cow) The communal structure disappeared Communities: at the level of kinship, family Impersonal relationships: scattered communities (small scale)
Agrarian societies:Domestication of plants & animals 17
Industrial Revolution 18 Humans went from a traditional agriculture to urbanization (to work in the industry) Impersonal relationships, the introduction of the concept of time measured in labor hours…. Can you visualize how this happened in Aruba?
Contemporary communities 21 Nowadays people are born in a social environment that does not resemblance the communal life of the past: Urbanization (cities), strangers (we don’t always talk to our neighbors'): But: reciprocity is learned In general children’s potential to learn reciprocity behavior is realized step by step from early childhood to adolescence, within the confines of family and friends (nurture and nature debate: both nature (altruistic gene & socialization)
Modes of interpersonal behavior (Vos, 2004) 22 Human social nature Social; implying in relation to others Human nature: biological genes (nature) You will see that nurture (socialization) is also important: human beings learn! Learn to be social, learn to compete
2 modes: Status Competition 23 Status Competition: refers to the selection for those motivations and abilities that help individuals in competing with other individuals for resources (food, territory, mates). It implies that there is a competition: there is a winner and a loser. Dominance, hierarchical relations: the winner acts dominating and the loser submissively Egoistic gene survival of the fittist
2 modes: Reciprocity 24 2. Reciprocity: the mechanism whereby the evolution of cooperative or altruistic behavior may be favored by the probability of future mutual interactions To help without the expectation of immediate help back. Purely based on the need of the other: feelings of care and attachment (biological). And when learned: moral obligation (artificial)
The reciprocity relation is the building block of the social system of community 25 To help without the expectation of immediate help back. Purely based on the need of the other: feelings of care and attachment “I’ll do this for you now, without expecting anything immediately in return and perhaps without even knowing you, confident that down the road you or someone else will return the favor” (Putman 2000). Drawing courtesy of Stephanie Croes
Movie Pay it Forward illustrates the concept of (generalized) reciprocity 26 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KEwRXCalF9g Reciprocity: I’ll do this for you now, without expecting anything immediately in return and perhaps without even knowing you, confident that down the road you or someone else will return the favor” (Putman 2000).
Influence of the environment 27 Human social environments (contexts) (in terms of concentration of modes: number of humans behaving in a status competition or communal (reciprocity) mode) triggers a the switch in a particular mode: The more communal behavior, the more reciprocity relations between individuals or The more status-competition behavior , the more competing between individuals on multiple levels.
Definition of Community !!!!!!(Vos, 2004) 28 This will be the one definition we will use for this course: “ A group of individuals with an internal structure of reciprocity relations.” This implies: A community consists of communals, that is, of individuals who act in the communal mode. BUT: At the same time it should be realized that a precondition for people enacting this mode is the existence of the community
The egg – chicken dilemma: 29 The community needs the communal individual and the individual needs the community in order to be communal
‘Social Capital’ 30 We will explore the concept of Social Capital in order to understand the internal structures of the communities relationships matter: social networks are a valuable asset Interaction is important: COMMUNICATION IS THE BINDING GLUE IN A COMMUNITY: it enables people to build communities, to commit themselves to each other and to knit the social fabric
Relationship between concepts:Modes of interpersonal behavior, social environment, community & social capital 31 Drawing courtesy of Stephanie Croes
Community (Vos, 2004) A community is a group of individuals with an internal structure of reciprocity relations
Contemporary Society People in contemporary societies have 2 non-exclusive (niet elkaar uitsluitend) options for contributing to communal living: They can try to maintain and enrich the remains of community life that are transmitted from the past or that are based on existing long-term relationships There may be occasions for building community more or less from scratch In the second option the expectation of a long-term relationship is intentionally generated
Which conditions favor the existing of communities? The interdependency condition The condition of expected long-term relationships The multiplexity condition The accessibility condition
Conditions favoring communities (Vos, 2004) The more people are interdependent, the more they have and/or expect to have long-term relationships, the more they have multiplex relationships and the easier they are mutually accessible, the more they will develop mutual reciprocity relations Which means: the more they are a community
Social Capital: “Relationship matters” Relationships are a valuable asset Humans are social being: we have relationships with others Society is composed of multiple communities (formal and informal) that are connected to each other. Internal structure Interaction (communication) is the binding glue of society and of communities and between communities
Social Capital What is capital? SC has a lot of different definitions: SC is the aggregate of the actual potential resources which are linked to possession of a durable network of more or less institutionalized relationships of mutual acquaintance and recognition (Bourdieu) SC consists of social connections, who you know and who you are friendly with, who you can call on for help or favors
Putman: 39 “Whereas physical capital refers to psychical objects and human capital refers to the properties of individuals, social capital refers to connections among individuals, the social networks and the norms of reciprocity and trustworthiness that arise from them”.
SC Refers to the connections between people When approaching SC we look at the nature of these connections E.g. of types of assets: Trust Norms Reciprocity Information Cooperation Mobilization identification
Types of SC Bonding: ties between people in similar situations (are alike) , such as immediate family, close friends, neighbors Bridging: more distant ties of persons: workmates, loose friendships and workmates Linking: reaches out to unlike people in dissimilar situations, such as those who are entirely outside of the community.
Social Capital visualized in terms of social networks
What value do I give the relationships I have with others?
If I could indentify this value, and break it down in concrete ‘things’, what would these be? In other words: What are the social assets I get from these relationships?
Positive Outcomes linked to SC Individual level: Well-being Self-esteem Satisfaction with life Useful information Community level: Mobilize community efforts: e.g. public health, schools Low crime rates More efficiency on level of organizations
Negative outcomes linked to SC Exclusion of others not in the social network Benefits to the ones in a social network alone. E.g. Nepotism Can you think of other negative outcomes?
Decline SC (Putman) due to Changes in family structure Suburban sprawl (travel a lot to work, leisure etc): less time available to connect with each other Electronic entertainment (tv, internet) The last one will be the topic of our next meeting: the influence of internet on SC, communities: emerging of new types of communities?
Assignment: How does the Internet affect the formation, development and maintenance of relationships?