The increasing individualism of modern Western society has been accompanied by an enduring nostalgia for the idea of community as a source of security and belonging and, in recent years, as an alternative to the state as a basis for politics.
Gerard Delanty begins this stimulating introduction to the concept with an analysis of the origins of the idea of community in Western Utopian thought, and as an imagined primitive state equated with traditional societies in classical sociology and anthropology. He goes on to chart the resurgence of the idea within communitarian thought, the complications and critiques of multiculturalism, and its new manifestations within a society where new modes of communication produce both fragmentation and the possibilities of new social bonds. Contemporary community, he argues, is essentially a communication community based on new kinds of belonging. No longer bounded by place, we are able to belong to multiple communities based on religion, nationalism, ethnicity, life-styles and gender.
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Age travellers alternative American argued Bauman become Calhoun Castells century Chapter citizenship civic republican civil society Cohen collective communication communities communitarianism communitas conceptions of community constituted constructed contemporary context cosmopolitan community critical critique cultural community cultural identity debate defined Delanty democracy diasporas differentiated discourse of community discussed diversity dominant Durkheim emerged emphasis exist expressions of community expressivist forms of community forms of social gentrification global Habermas idea of community ideology immigrants Internet Kibbutz kinds of community liberal communitarianism liminal major Manuel Castells meaning mobilization modern society moral individualism multiculturalism Neil Smith networks nity opposed organization pluralism political community post-traditional postmodern community radical reality Robert Putnam social capital social integration social movements social relations solidarity space structures sustained symbolic technologies theme theory of community Tonnies Tony Blair Touraine traditional communities transnational communities urban communities urban sociology utopian view of community virtual community world community Zygmunt Bauman