'The Future of Community is a much need challenge to the complacent and flabby orthodoxies currently dominating the debate. It asks all the right questions...Suggesting compelling answers, this book will lift the communities debate to another level.' Julian Baggini, philosopher and author of 'Welcome to Everytown: A Journey into the English Mind' We are constantly being told that communities are under threat, that we are losing a 'sense of community'. This book finds that the notion of community in Britain is actually threatened by the very thing intended to protect it; relentless government and third party interventions bent on imposing their own forms of social cohesion on the population. There is no doubt that modern societies, underpinned by a ruthlessly competitive and individualistic economic system, have undermined ties of family, solidarity and commonality. However, when an idea of community is articulated it is almost invariably along conservative and reactionary lines - with unelected spokespersons unquestionably accepted as 'community leaders', and with formal contractual relationships taking the place of 'traditional' social order.
The short, punchy articles in this book criticise attempts by the state and other agencies to correct the so-called collapse of communities. This book is for students and citizens looking to get beyond the hysterical rhetoric of the government and media to find out about the real communities of the 21st century.
Dave Clements writes on social policy, and works as a policy adviser in children's social care. He has written widely for publications including Guardian Unlimited, spiked-online and Community Care Magazine. Alastair Donald is researching Urban Systems and Metropolitan Design at the Martin Centre for Architectural and Urban Studies, University of Cambridge. He is co-editor of The Future of Community (Pluto, 2009). Martin Earnshaw was a convenor of the 2006 Future of Community conference, held at Central St Martins. Austin Williams is author of The Enemies of Progress (2008) and co-editor of The Future of Community (Pluto, 2009). He is the founder of ManTownHuman, director of the Future Cities Project and convenor of the infamous 'Bookshop Barnies' book discussions.
Acknowledgements Introduction: Who needs Community Anyway? - Austin Williams Part I: In Search of Community 1. Faking Civil Society - Dave Clements 2. A Green Unpleasant Land - Alastair Donald 3. Public Space: Designing-in Community' - Richard Williams Part II: Constructing Communities 4. New New Urbanism - Austin Williams 5. Density Versus Sprawl - Karl Sharro 6. Salvation by Brick? The Life and Death of British Communities - by Penny Lewis Part III: Communities in Flux 7. Strictly Personal: The Working Class confined to Community - Andrew Calcutt 8. Virtual Communities versus Political Realities - Martyn Perks 9. Minorities, Multiculturalism and the Metropolitan Experience - Neil Davenport 10. From Little Italy to Big America - Elizabetta Gasparoni -Abraham 11. Rio on Galway: Immigration on Ireland - Suzy Dean Part IV: Undermining Communities 12. Communities on the Couch - Martin Earnshaw 13. Youthful Misbehaviour or Adult Traumas? - Stuart Waiton 14. Parish Pump Politics - Dave Clements Conclusion: A Death Greatly Exaggerated - Alastair Donald Notes on Contributors Index