Introduction: The Enigma of Community

  • Kenneth C. Bessant
Chapter

Abstract

Community is one of the most highly debated concepts in the social sciences. The ubiquity with which the word “community” is mentioned in academic circles and everyday life illustrates its germaneness to lived experience. Theorists have proffered a plethora of definitions and analytical approaches in an effort to gain greater insight into the diverse nature of community. The notion of community is often framed in terms of place, interaction, and affective bonds, all of which are manifestations of social relations. This chapter examines competing interpretations of community set against a backdrop of social change dynamics and persistent contestation. The essential theme here and throughout the book is the relational foundations of community life.

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Authors and Affiliations

  • Kenneth C. Bessant
    • 1
  1. 1.Brandon UniversityBrandonCanada

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