The quest for community is a continuing concern in social life and the question of community an enduring enigma in social theory. In both social life and social theory the idea of community has changed and varied over time and space as much as the reality of communities themselves. In this chapter I discuss varying contemporary ideas of community by focusing on the local community as a unit of analysis. [In short, I am following the model of the anthropologist (1955) in The Little Community in contrast to other uses of the concept such as the idea of a “national community” as developed by (1991) in his influential book Imagined Communities that traces the rise of modern nationalism.]


Local Community Limited Liability Virtual Community Social Disorganization Chicago School 
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© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Albert Hunter
    • 1
  1. 1.Northwestern UniversityGaithersburg

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