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Community Presentation

Powerpoint presentation given to University of Dayton learning and living community on November 19, 2009.

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Community Presentation

  1. 1. Bowling and Being Alone in the Community: Thinking about Community Social Scientifically<br />What is community?<br />The sociological perspective and Symbols<br />Some Theories/Explanations<br />
  2. 2. Robert Putnam has been described as one of the most influential social scientists in the world today. <br />The ideas in Bowling Alone seems to have struck a chord with many concerned with the state of social and public life.<br />Tonight Dr. Guadalupe, Dr. Pierce, and I explore community, identity, and agency from our different disciplinary perspectives.<br />Bowling Alone in the Community<br />
  3. 3. Exercise in Thinking about Community<br />Take two minutes to write down all the words or images that you think of when someone says the word &quot;Community.“<br />What do you see?<br />What should appear?<br />What do you imagine?<br />What does it feel like?<br />What should it feel like?<br />
  4. 4. Thinking about Community<br />Where do you live? <br />What is a community? <br />What kind of community do you live in? <br />Would you describe your community as urban or rural? <br />What kind of physical features are found in your community? <br />Are you proud of your community?<br />How does your community compare to others?<br />What do you know about your community&apos;s past?<br />How does your community celebrate the past?<br />Characteristics<br />Comparisons<br />
  5. 5. Take two minutes to write down all the words or images that you think of when someone says the word “Internet.“<br />What do you see?<br />What should appear?<br />What do you imagine?<br />What does it feel like?<br />What should it feel like?<br />Exercise 2: Internet<br />
  6. 6. What are the common characteristics that you believe represent use of the Internet?<br />What do you use?<br />Why do you use it/them?<br />Internet Characteristics<br />
  7. 7. Community Development & Change<br />Who are the leaders of your community? <br />How do you think people have changed the way your community looks over the years? <br />What are some of the things people have done to improve your community? <br />How might you contribute to your community?<br />
  8. 8. There has been a lot of discussion by social scientists about what community is, but we can ask: who defines community? <br />Should the people who belong (or might belong) to a community decide what it is and whether they are in or out? <br />Or is it social scientists and professionals who really decide who is part of a community?<br />Who defines community?<br />
  9. 9. What is community? <br />People use the word when talking about their neighbors, their friends, entire racial groups, international politics, national identity groups, you name it. It&apos;s an everyday word. <br />But have we have stopped to think about what community really is and what it means to us – as members of the community – personally?<br />Community is a word<br />
  10. 10. &apos;&quot;Community&quot; is one of those words…bandied around in ordinary, everyday speech, apparently readily intelligible to speaker and listener, which… however, causes immense difficulty&apos;(Cohen, 1985: 11)<br />Difficulty in Defining It<br />
  11. 11. When we think about communities most people think about a particular place, a geographical location for the community, such as the Dayton Community or the University of Dayton Community. <br />The geographical community can be a town, a suburb, or even a small section of a suburb. There might be a few communities in the same town. <br />There are other times when a town might be only part of a community, such as when he community involves the rural areas outside town, or two towns are closely linked.<br />The Centrality of Place<br />
  12. 12. Do you think community is a thing? a system? a process? <br />By system I mean an interconnected set of parts which are capable of acting as a whole. By process I mean that it has an observable operation or action. <br />We can ask: is community a thing which exists apart from us? Or is it something that we are part of? Or is it something that we do together?<br />What is a community?<br />
  13. 13. According to Anthony Cohen, when we use the word ‘community’, what we are doing is establishing a symbolic boundary around a class of people. <br />That is, we are using language to mark a difference between people inside and those outside the ‘community’. <br /><ul><li>Cohen suggests the word is used loosely to imply that community is: </li></ul>A group or category of people, who have something in common with each other, which distinguishes them in a significant way from other groups.<br />Sociological View of Community<br />
  14. 14. Community implies those inside are similar to each other and different from others. <br />It creates a bond between some people and excludes others. <br />Attachment<br />Involvement<br />Commitment<br />Belief<br />Thus community implies and creates a boundary between us and them, inside a group and outside a group.<br />We are connected<br />
  15. 15. This boundary is marked in symbolic ways.<br />There are many types of symbol which mark the boundaries of community - flags, badges, colors, dances, languages and more. <br />The point is that we are creating distinctions<br />Symbols and Boundaries<br />
  16. 16. Symbols (including symbolic words) always carry a range of meanings whose differences can be glossed over. <br />So, it is possible to share the symbols without sharing the meanings.<br />What does it mean to be an American?<br />The use of symbols is important<br />
  17. 17. ‘Community’ is one such boundary marking symbol. <br />As a symbol it is held in common by all the members, but its meaning might vary with each member’s unique understanding of it. <br />According to Cohen, people construct community symbolically, making community a resource and a repository of meaning, and a point of reference for their social identity.<br />Community as Boundary<br />
  18. 18. These enquiries into the fate of collective social forms played an integral role in defining some of the key debates of sociological inquiry as a whole - captured, for example, in the theoretical and conceptual &apos;dualisms&apos; between &apos;individual&apos; and &apos;society&apos;, &apos;structure&apos; and &apos;agency&apos;, and &apos;freedom&apos; and &apos;constraint&apos;. <br />Why Theory Matters <br />
  19. 19. Rationalization<br />Interpretations of actors<br />Organization and Community<br />Max Weber explored the emergence of a &apos;disenchanted&apos; modern world in which older forms of authority and moral direction increasingly gave way to a more rationalized and individualistic existence (Weber, 1930).<br />Max Weber and Community<br />
  20. 20. Division of Labor in Society<br />Mechanical vs. Organic Social Solidarity<br />The modern &apos;loss of community&apos; was enshrined in FerdnandTönnies (1957) celebrated distinction between pre-modern Gemeinshaft (community) and modern Gesellschaft (society), and in Emile Durkheim&apos;s (1964) famous distinction between &apos;mechanical&apos; and &apos;organic&apos; solidarity.<br />Emile Durkheim and Community<br />
  21. 21. The Great Good Place – Place is Key<br />Where do we make solidarity?<br />Where do we establish boundaries?<br />How do we symbolically establish community?<br />Oldenberg and Community<br />
  22. 22. Putnam and Community<br />Where is community established and reinforced?<br />What happens when community fails?<br />In 1975 the average American entertained friends at home 15 times per year; the equivalent figure (1998) is now less than half that. <br />Virtually all leisure activities that involve doing something with someone else, from playing volleyball to playing chamber music, are declining.<br />
  23. 23. …is social interaction<br />share feeling<br />build social identity<br />pool collective intelligence<br />interpret collectively<br />act reciprocally <br />According to Nancy Baym<br />Internet and Community<br />
  24. 24. Has the Internet transformed what it means to be in a community?<br />Communities are created more rapidly and successfully now than ever before, with consequences not just for their own experience, but for everyone involved in the activity. <br />But what if you cannot participate?<br />Online, people are making a new kind of belonging that transcends place and shakes up long-standing balances of power. Or does it?<br />Internet and Community<br />
  25. 25. “Downloading of music, movies, games and programs<br />is only one side of the story as well. On the other hand<br />there is communities, blogs, websites with loads of<br />information, free information of high and low (THE<br />lowest) quality everywhere, all the time and it&apos;s<br />increasing by the minute. It goes hand in hand with<br />the downloading of music, movies, programs and<br />games. It&apos;s stressful, highpaced, superficial and at<br />times very rewarding. It&apos;s a world of culture under<br />ongoing change at a level so basic that it probably will<br />have replaced the old system completely in a couple of<br />years. 4 years, counting from last Thursday, is our<br />guess.”<br />- Hybris Records blog<br />Nature & Pace of Interaction Online<br />
  26. 26. How do YOU build community here at UD?<br />How do YOU participate in activities?<br />Attachment?<br />Involvement?<br />Commitment?<br />Belief?<br />What do you think?<br />
  27. 27. Thank you for listening…<br />