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What do social scientists understand by term 'community'? How important are communities in contemporary British society?

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What do social scientists understand by term 'community'? How important are communities in contemporary British society? Community is a large word to explore, the term of community is one of the largest areas to cover the social scientists specific many meaning of community. The concept of 'community' has been a matter of debate for 100 years or more. I shall explore what the social scientists understand by term 'community' and how important are communities in contemporary British society. 'Community' embodies the notion of shared goals and values, of everyone working together, and form a unity. Britain, the first society to under go industrialization, was also the earliest to move from being a rural to a predominantly urban country. In 1800 well under 20 per cent of the population lived in towns or cities of more than 10,000 inhabitants. By 1900 this proportion had become 74 per cent. The capital London was home to about 1.1 million people in 1800, it increased in size to a population of over 7 million by the start of the twentieth century. London was then by for the largest city ever seen in the world, a vast manufacturing, commercial and financial centre at the heart of a still-expanding British empire.1 How Britain has manage to form large community, with different ethnic back ground. After the new common wealth migration to the UK was part of a word wide process. ...read more.


With this identity goes a certain emotional charge, a feeling of belonging to a larger unit and some loyalty to it.3 Sociologists studying communities it is not simply a matter of whether a community exists or not, for many. Tonnies and Durkheim, writing at the turn of the century they identified 'community' as existing in pre-industrial, rural societies, but were more sceptical about whether it could exist in the 'new' industrial, urbanized societies. What is it that makes living in cities different from living in the country side, some argued that cities by their very nature are disintegrated places, where people are isolated and have little sense of belonging together other claim that strong communities can form in city. However some of the sociologist debate on the difference between urban and rural areas, and community may not always be the utopia 4 Many sociologists have presumed it to be positive of having community they serve to bring people together, giving them a common identity and sense of purpose. Also to develop and support network and proactive political movements of informal and Formal kinds. Community life can have negative consequences for individuals and groups inside and outside of the perceived boundaries. Insiders may have differing levels of commitment to their group yet feel pressure to conform in their thinking. Speaking and acting this may differ according to circumstances but could cause psychological tensions and stresses. ...read more.


Wirth and Tonnies saw the city as incompatible with community, but others argued that communities can thrive in cities. Ferdinand Tonnies distinguished between community (Gemeinschaft) and association (Gesellschaft).5 Tonnies (1855-1936), for example, argued that urbanisation transformed the basis and character of social contacts. He charted a shift from Gemeinschaft or community, characterised by close-knit, personal and stable relationships between a clear understanding of social position, to Gesellschaft or association, based on transitory, instrumental relationships.6 Community plays a very important roles in contemporary British society, there are now some of 2.6 million non-whites in the United Kingdom compared with perhaps 100,000 before1950 (Coleman and Salt,19992). According to Mark Kirby et al some of the evidence in this section has shown that there can be high rates of interaction between members of a community, but more important may be a shared consciousness and a capacity to support each other in times of need. Importantly, we do know that contemporary communities do not exist in vacuous isolation. They are subject to internal changes, with members constantly leaving and new members arriving. The infrastructure, economic, political and religious arenas change with a resulting impact on the culture of the area.7 1 Sociology Anthony Giddens p.572 2 Sociology Oxford, Fulcher and Scott, p.523 3 Sociology Oxford p.498 4 Sociology Oxford Fulcher and Scott p.492 5 Sociology oxford, Fulcher and Scott , p.495, 496, 497 and 501 6 Introductory Sociology, Tony Bilton et al, p.138 7 Sociology in perspective, Mark Kirby etal, p.660 ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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