Sociology Of A Community
In theory and practice, the community stimulates the sense of self-sameness and belonging through shared attributes and commonality. To be precise, the community ought to be rooted in particular environments and locales for it to exist over time. In addition, there exist several real communities ranging from Facebook, portable, co-op, and trailer park. In this case, the social life of communities can be disrupted through unjust or forceful displacements. However, such communities have the ability to retain their identity. For example, in the post-Holocaust Diaspora of European Jews, Africans generated new communities throughout America and the Caribbean (Fischlin & Nandorfy, 2012, p. 3). This means that the social aspects of communities may comply with their nomadic principles, which establish their associations with the environment, especially the one requiring pastoralism as a mode of continued existence. Otherwise, fixed stability notions do not guarantee the concomitant success of an ideal community. The modern community lacks the capability to stand still as it adopts new fashions and engages in events catching its attention. Consequently, today’s communities manifest increased polarization between the elite and the less privileged individuals.
Global military actions and genocide manifest the history of human cruelty, which, in turn, has contributed to the dissolution of communities. As a result, the disruption of the social life of the real communities has been aggravated by modernity whereby the community has been regarded as a reductive appeal to unity. Otherwise, the community ought to be viewed as a social ideal instead of a denial of difference for it to grant the citizens the power to a communal possibility.
It is prudent to avoid utopian and simplistic declarations regarding the sociology of any given community. In fact, when a community is permeable, inclusive, and diverse, it is easier to support as well as change its social life. In this case, the life of real communities is dependent on ideas of social consonance as well as communal material realities. For instance, a person who breaks the law and his conscience tells him that it is unjust, evokes the sense of the right and wrong in the community if he accepts the imprisonment penalty. From that perspective, a community is ideal if it respects the law and does neither it become positivistic nor a spot of agreement as well as agreement. In other words, tension and opposition within the community is a characteristic of an ideal society. However, the sociology of communities plagued with battles is expressed by their capability to meaningfully address the conflicts affecting them for sustainability.
Along with that line, the sociology of a community is a sophisticated allegory in which relational identities such as the contextual, human, environmental, and historical fullness arise. As such, an ideal community has necessary but unavoidable relational contingencies that satisfy the desires and needs in one’s social life. These needs and desires include governance, family, love, sex, shelter, food, power, and entertainment. Consequently, the community is intricately associated with ethics, rights, as well as values, which promote ideal social life by protecting it against oppression, suffering, inequity, and alienation.
Portal communities such as blue grass festivals create opportunities for inclusive and intimate social interactions, which they feel that it is lacking in their daily routine. In this case, the participants in these festivals form communities that act as geographically rooted neighborhoods, and their engagement is of different degrees. From that perspective, the portable communities are comprised of individuals with similar objectives of moving frequently from one place to another. In such communities, it is possible for members or participants to bond and connect to one another without necessarily having to form institutional relationships.
The bluegrass festival provides participants with rich history as well as tradition that over time add up to treasured memories for devoted attendees. Consequently, such a portable community is not only open but also diverse and has a vast number of benchmarks, which are essential in the promotion of personal intimacy, social cohesion, moral commitment, volition, and emotional depth. However, portable communities are not formed based on the participant’s political life or work but on communal interaction as well as engagement in the pre-existing towns, neighborhoods, and cities. Therefore, the blue grass festival members create communal spaces outside their political parties and local institutions to enhance social capital as well as form an inclusive and proactive public sphere.
The Hutterites live in colonies throughout the North America and Western Canada. In addition, they are communal people, Anabaptists, who do farming as well as manufacture goods for sustenance. The community’s lifestyle is rooted in the teaching of the Bible, especially of Jesus Christ and the Apostles. Being a religious group, the Hutterite community shares all its profits, goods, and property based on one’s needs. In this case, every family in the colony possesses an individual dwelling place including a yard. However, all material and material gains such as land, buildings, as well as equipment are owned by the entire colony. The community members do not own bank accounts instead all the earnings are held collectively. Funding is done when a need arises. Otherwise, the community believes that its obligation is to help others as a way of serving God.
Even though the community uses German as its first language, the members learn English at school. The Hutterite colony comprises of about 15 families, which cook and even eat from a central place. Whereas the Amish community does use neither electricity nor modern appliances, the Hutterites do through the practice of industrial agriculture. However, they lead a solitary life, and only a few things including their mode of dressing have changed.
In the Hutterite community, the women acknowledge each other’s differences to protect and preserve the health of the whole society. If a Hutterite becomes destructive, insolent, or obnoxious, the rest of the community adjusts its expectations. By doing so, the deviant person is given an opportunity to function within society.
One of the eco-friendly communities is the Babcok Ranch, which has invested heavily in harnessing solar energy. Other eco-friendly communities such as the Amish utilize horses to run their farm equipment. In addition, they use animals as a means of transport. In these eco-friendly communities, their homes lack electricity; instead, they use lanterns for lighting when the night sets in. The Amish community is against the concept of consumerism, as it only owns items it needs. For instance, the Amish puts on simple clothing and the home are sparsely furnished.
Eco-friendly communities engage in cohousing developments whereby the members are encouraged to strengthen their social relationships. Sharing fundamental equipment like washing machines forces the Amish people to interact with their neighbors. The net implication of this practice is that resource exhaustion and use is minimized. Also, sharing contributes to the making of smaller individual homes, which, in turn, preserves land. On the hand, the Amish with cars park them on the sides of the neighborhood creating a safe and friendly environment for children. Occasionally, the members of the eco-friendly community strengthen their tiers by sharing a meal in a common building. In fact, cooking for many people using one source of heat is more energy efficient as compared to using many stoves.
Trailer Park Community
Some communities have gone an extra step to live in trailer parks. Even though trailer parks are easy and quick to move, they are expensive. Therefore, the trailer park community is always between a hard place and a rock regarding payment of rent. The trailer parks are not that mobile anymore since the owner spends thousands of dollars to relocate them. It becomes prohibitive, especially to owners with limited or fixed sources of income. Along with that line, many States across the US have limited protection for their residents. This means that the park owners may at their discretion increase rent and even evict defaulters within two months.
The dwellers of this kind of community either are poor or even suffer mental illnesses. Also, individuals with the intention of hiding from authorities and their past actions live in a trailer park community as well. With the advent of exploration, people who like travelling have preferred to use trailer parks whenever they move from one place to another as they have found them to be convenient and luxurious. On the other hand, trailer parks are adversely affected by extreme weather conditions such as hurricanes and tornadoes. Since the structures are not anchored to the ground, they lack the ability to endure wind of high velocity and force. In American culture, trailer park communities are perceived as those with low income. In fact, occupants of these mobile homes live below the poverty line and manifest a low social status.
With the conception of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the negative impression of trailer park communities can cease. Also, the communities are age-restricted in such a way that one of the homeowners ought to be aged 55 years and above. Individuals under the age of 18 years are prohibited from accessing the trailer park community. From that perspective, the trailer park communities resemble the modern gated society whereby residents share common amenities like clubhouses, swimming pools, and gyms.
The cohousing communities exploit the value of the private homes by actively engaging in the operation and design of their neighborhoods. In fact, such communities create collaborative and intentional neighborhoods. Also, the coop community shares good connections and common facilities with the neighbors. Therefore, the community is not only sustainable but also innovative, and addresses the world’s current social and environmental problems. From that context, the cohousing communities over the past 20 years have created homes for over 300 people.
The Co-op Community can be viewed as a living laboratory, which creates and models frameworks necessary for global and local integration. Hence, the community is a micro-society that offers insights into how one should live as per cooperative set of values. Furthermore, cohousing communities strive to ensure that they promote sustainable development by executing policies, which have been accepted by society.
Co-op community operates in such a way that it is not after gains for its member. Any profit realized from its initiative is utilized in promoting its goals, and this provision is unalterable. In this case, the community makes sharing of resources possible and economical. Otherwise, cohousing communities have created sustainable development by making the public aware of the power of resource sharing.
The Concepts and Issues Regarding the Sociology of Community
It is evident that community as a subject matter has undergone evolution driven by social disruption and State concerns. To be precise, via a number of sequential waves of social scientific interests, the sociology of communities has been linked to not only to the process of modernization but also to globalization and deindustrialization. However, the sociology of Community is a topic that has an unbreakable barrier, which does not allow conceptualization to pass. Therefore, the topic acts as an empty stage that has imposed abstraction both in practice and theoretically.
The society has realized “post-humanist” and “post-modern” conceptualization of imaginary communities such as Facebook. In this phenomenon, the practices and norms associated with living together as a community are addressed by cultural theories. In addition, the sociology of community is a topic in which institutional “bad faith” of scholars excels in its shameful glory. Hence, it is difficult to entirely abandon the social life of real communities. Even though suggestions that the community ought to be perceived as a historical form exist, which is superseded by one’s common argument, this claim mistakes the real social life of society.
The Distinction between a Community and a Network
In the interview by Zygmunt Bauman on the difference between a community and a network, it is apparent that the former refers to an offline society whereas the latter constitutes online lovers. However, the distinction regards the offline communities are “proper” and deems the online ones less substantive. In addition, communities not created since a person belongs to it, unlike a network where an individual fits into it. In a network like the Facebook community, the use is at liberty to add friends he or she wishes since he or she is in control. Even though the network communities provide pleasure, they have turned out to be a trap for many people due to addiction.
As the online community plays an interactive and critical role in curating the society, society fails to embrace real social skills. In this case, social media can kill the social life of real communities as it affects the manner in which individuals interact and act when offline. From that context, the online communities embrace the established methods and ideas of their offline counterparts. However, the network must adopt the ideals and methods for the new medium, cyberspace. Therefore, networks are independent communities that need to be analyzed and treated as such. Even though a community acts differently due to the availability of unique modes of communication, it is impactful and real to the other members of the network. Social media is not an alternative for offline communities. Otherwise, the sociology of a community is a symbolic process of solidarity, law making, cultural meaning, as well as material consumption and production. Also, the presumption of pseudo communities whereby networks only evoke stereotypical and individualized communication using social media is true.