'Community' is a much used yet little understood term. Through a set of detailed case studies of communities in action this book examines the sources of community activism, the ways in which communities define themselves, and are defined by outsiders, and the nature of the interface between communities and public agencies via partnerships.
The essays indicate how communities are sites for internal conflict between the young and old, men and women, and for external conflict with local and central government and other public agencies. The important role of women is another strong theme.
provides detailed pictures of community life on run-down estates in some of Britain's most deprived communities;
looks at the way in which local government reorganisation has been influenced by ideas of community;
examines some of the problems of partnership;
looks at new directions in community organising, such as networking.
A vivid picture of people struggling to keep community spirit alive in the face of crime, apathy and public ignorance is built, showing that policies relating to crime prevention and economic regeneration are often made in ignorance of the complexity and variety of communities, often with negative effects. This book seeks to remedy this problem and as such will be highly relevant to both policy makers and practitioners, as well as to students and researchers in the field of public and social policy.
Paul Hoggett, Director of the Centre for Psycho-Social Studies, Faculty of Humanities, Languages & Social Sciences, University of the West of England, Bristol
Contents: Part One: Introduction: Contested communities Paul Hoggett; What do we know about the neighbours? Sociological perspectives on neighbouring and community Graham Crow; Part Two: Community and social diversity: "It's all right 'round here if you're local": community and the inner city Karen Evans; "You've fucked up the estate and now you're carrying a briefcase!" Andrew McCulloch; Community without unity Jeremy Brent; The dialogics of 'community': language and identity in a housing scheme in the West of Scotland Chik Collins; Taken away from the community: older people and sheltered housing Harrie Churchill, Angela Everitt and Judith Green; Part Three: Local government and community: Getting a fix on community identity: the catalyst of the local government review Rick Ball and Jon Stobart; Local government and community Neil Barnett and Jim Chandler; Part Four: Community, participation and empowerment: Community networking: developing strength through diversity Alison Gilchrist and Marilyn Taylor; Do the people want power? The social responsibilities of empowering communities Chris Hart, Kathryn Jones and Manmohan Bains; Community participation and urban regeneration in Britain Rob Atkinson and Stephen Cope.