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A community is a social unit of any size that shares common values or that is situated in a given geographical area (e.g. a village or town). Although embodied or face-to-face communities are usually small, larger or more extended communities such as a national community, international community and virtual community are also studied. In human communities, intent, belief, resources, preferences, needs, risks, and a number of other conditions may be present and common, affecting the identity of the participants and their degree of cohesiveness.the main realistic meaning of a community is a group of people who connect well together socially, mentally or sometimes economically
Since the advent of the Internet, the concept of community has less geographical limitation, people can now gather virtually in an online community and share common interests regardless of physical location. Prior to the Internet, virtual communities (like social or academic organizations) were far more limited by the constraints of available communication and transportation technologies.
The word "community" is derived from the  One broad definition which incorporates all the different forms of community is "a group or network of persons who are vin connected (objectively) to each other by relatively durable social relations that extend beyond immediate genealogical ties, and who mutually define that relationship (subjectively) as important to their social identity and social practice."
Perspectives from various disciplines 1
- Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft 1.1.1
- Social capital 1.1.2
- As a measure of religiosity 1.2
- Community 1.3.1
- Anthropology 1.4
- Archaeology 1.5
Business and communications 1.6
- Organizational communication 1.6.1
- Internet Communities 1.7
- Ecology 1.8
- Public Administration 1.9
- Sociology 1.1
Interdisciplinary perspectives 2
- Socialization 2.1
Community development 3
Community building and organizing 3.1
- Community currencies 3.1.1
- Community services 3.2
- Community building and organizing 3.1
Types of community 4
- Location 4.1
- Identity 4.2
- Overlaps 4.3
- Special nature of human community 5
- See also 6
- Notes 7
- References 8
Perspectives from various disciplines
Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft
German sociologist Ferdinand Tönnies distinguished between two types of human association: Gemeinschaft (usually translated as "community") and Gesellschaft ("society" or "association"). In his 1887 work, Gemeinschaft und Gesellschaft, Tönnies argued that Gemeinschaft is perceived to be a tighter and more cohesive social entity, due to the presence of a "unity of will." He added that family and kinship were the perfect expressions of Gemeinschaft, but that other shared characteristics, such as place or belief, could also result in Gemeinschaft. This paradigm of communal networks and shared social understanding has been applied to multiple cultures in many places throughout history. Gesellschaft, on the other hand, is a group in which the individuals who make up that group are motivated to take part in the group purely by self-interest. He also proposed that in the real world, no group was either pure Gemeinschaft or pure Gesellschaft, but, rather, a mixture of the two.
If community exists, both freedom and security may exist as well. The community then takes on a life of its own, as people become free enough to share and secure enough to get along. The sense of connectedness and formation of social networks comprise what has become known as social capital.
Social capital is defined by Robert D. Putnam as "the collective value of all social networks and species (who people know) and the inclinations that arise from these works to do things for each other (norms of reciprocity)." Social capital in action can be seen in all sorts of groups, including neighbors keeping an eye on each other's homes. However, as Putnam notes in Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community (2000), social capital has been falling in the United States. Putnam found that over the past 25 years, attendance at club meetings has fallen 58 percent, family dinners are down 33 percent, and having friends visit has fallen 45 percent.
The same patterns are also evident in many other western countries. Western cultures are thus said to be losing the spirit of community that once were found in institutions including churches and community centers. Sociologist Ray Oldenburg states in The Great Good Place that people need three places: 1) the home, 2) the office, and, 3) the community hangout or gathering place. With this philosophy in mind, many grassroots efforts such as The Project for Public Spaces are being started to create this "Third Place" in communities. They are taking form in independent bookstores, coffeehouses, local pubs, and through new and innovative means to create the social capital needed to foster the sense and spirit of community.
As a measure of religiosity
According to the sociologist Mervin Verbit, community may be understood as one of the key components of religiosity. And communal involvement itself may be broken down into four dimensions:
The content of one's communal involvement may vary from person to person (or from one religious organization to the next), as will the degree of the person's participation (frequency), and the intensity and centrality of that involvement (for that person).
- psychological balance of knowledge in Meranau Society and culture communication.
- mala e sowa (understanding)
In a seminal 1986 study, McMillan and Chavis identify four elements of "sense of community":
- integration and fulfillment of needs,
- shared emotional connection.
They give the following example of the interplay between these factors:
Someone puts an announcement on the dormitory bulletin board about the formation of an intramural dormitory basketball team. People attend the organizational meeting as strangers out of their individual needs (integration and fulfillment of needs). The team is bound by place of residence (membership boundaries are set) and spends time together in practice (the contact hypothesis). They play a game and win (successful shared valent event). While playing, members exert energy on behalf of the team (personal investment in the group). As the team continues to win, team members become recognized and congratulated (gaining honor and status for being members), Influencing new members to join and continue to do the same. Someone suggests that they all buy matching shirts and shoes (common symbols) and they do so (influence).
A Sense of Community Index (SCI) has been developed by Chavis and colleagues and revised and adapted by others. Although originally designed to assess sense of community in neighborhoods, the index has been adapted for use in schools, the workplace, and a variety of types of communities.
Studies conducted by the APPA show substantial evidence that young adults who feel a sense of belonging in a community, particularly small communities, develop fewer psychiatric and depressive disorders than those who do not have the feeling of love and belonging.
Cultural (or social) anthropology has traditionally looked at community through the lens of ethnographic fieldwork and ethnography continues to be an important methodology for study of modern communities. Other anthropological approaches that deal with various aspects of community include cross-cultural studies and the anthropology of religion. Cultures in modern society are also studied in the fields of urban anthropology, ethnic studies, ecological anthropology, and psychological anthropology. Since the 1990s, internet communities have increasingly been the subject of research in the emerging field of cyber anthropology.
The group of people having same identity is called community, Anthropologist Rhone Ian B. Antonino
In archaeological studies of social communities the term "community" is used in two ways, paralleling usage in other areas. The first is an informal definition of community as a place where people used to live. In this sense it is synonymous with the concept of an ancient settlement, whether a hamlet, village, town, or city. The second meaning is similar to the usage of the term in other social sciences: a community is a group of people living near one another who interact socially. Social interaction on a small scale can be difficult to identify with archaeological data. Most reconstructions of social communities by archaeologists rely on the principle that social interaction is conditioned by physical distance. Therefore, a small village settlement likely constituted a social community, and spatial subdivisions of cities and other large settlements may have formed communities. Archaeologists typically use similarities in material culture—from house types to styles of pottery—to reconstruct communities in the past. This is based on the assumption that people or households will share more similarities in the types and styles of their material goods with other members of a social community than they will with outsiders.
Business and communications
Effective organizational structures. Group members depend on the flow of communication to establish their own identity within these structures and learn to function in the group setting. Although organizational communication, as a field of study, is usually geared toward companies and business groups, these may also be seen as communities. The principles of organizational communication can also be applied to other types of communities.
Groups of people are complex, in ways that make those groups hard to form and hard to sustain; much of the shape of traditional institutions is a response to those difficulties. New social tools relieve some of those burdens, allowing for new kinds of group-forming, like using simple sharing to anchor the creation of new groups.
One simple form of cooperation, almost universal with social tools, is conversation; when people are in one another's company, even virtually, they like to talk. Conversation creates more of a sense of community than sharing does.
Collaborative production is a more involved form of cooperation, as it increases the tension between individual and group goals. The litmus test for collaborative production is simple: no one person can take credit for what gets created, and the project could not come into being without the participation of many.
An online community builds weaker bonds and allows users to be anonymous. Clay Shirky, a researcher on digital media, states in reference to the audience of an online community, "An audience isn’t just a big community; it can be more anonymous, with many fewer ties among users. A community isn’t just a small audience either; it has a social density that audiences lack." The sites that offer online communities, like Myspace, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, and Pinterest allow users to "stalk" their community and act anonymously.
In ecology, a community is an assemblage of populations of different species, interacting with one another. Community ecology is the branch of ecology that studies interactions between and among species. It considers how such interactions, along with interactions between species and the abiotic environment, affect community structure and species richness, diversity and patterns of abundance. Species interact in three ways: competition, predation and mutualism. Competition typically results in a double negative—that is both species lose in the interaction. Predation is a win/lose situation with one species winning. Mutualism, on the other hand, involves both species cooperating in some way, with both winning.
Public administration is the province of local, state and federal governments, with local governments responsible for units in towns, cities, villages, and counties, among others. The most well known "community department" is housing and community development which has responsibility for both economic development initiatives, and as public housing and community infrastructure (e.g., business development).
The process of learning to adopt the behavior patterns of the community is called socialization. The most fertile time of socialization is usually the early stages of life, during which individuals develop the skills and knowledge and learn the roles necessary to function within their culture and social environment. For some psychologists, especially those in the psychodynamic tradition, the most important period of socialization is between the ages of one and ten. But socialization also includes adults moving into a significantly different environment, where they must learn a new set of behaviors.
Socialization is influenced primarily by the family, through which children first learn community norms. Other important influences include schools, peer groups, people, mass media, the workplace, and government. The degree to which the norms of a particular society or community are adopted determines one's willingness to engage with others. The norms of tolerance, reciprocity, and trust are important "habits of the heart," as de Tocqueville put it, in an individual's involvement in community.
Community development is often linked with
- Smith, M. K. 2001. Community. Encyclopedia of informal education. Last updated: January 28, 2005. Retrieved: 2006-07-15.
- Tönnies, F. 1887. Gemeinschaft und Gesellschaft, Leipzig: Fues's Verlag, 2nd ed. 1912, 8th edition, Leipzig: Buske, 1935; translated in 1957 as Community and Society. ISBN 0-88738-750-0
- — 1986. "Commentary: The emergence of a conceptual center." Journal of Community Psychology, 14, 405-407.
- Canuto, Marcello A. and Jason Yaeger, eds. (2000) The Archaeology of Communities. Routledge, New York.
- Chavis, D.M., Hogge, J.H., McMillan, D.W., & Wandersman, A. 1986. "Sense of community through Brunswick's lens: A first look." Journal of Community Psychology, 14(1), 24-40.
- Chipuer, H. M., & Pretty, G. M. H. (1999). A review of the Sense of Community Index: Current uses, factor structure, reliability, and further development. Journal of Community Psychology, 27(6), 643-658.
- Christensen, K., et al. (2003). Encyclopedia of Community. 4 volumes. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
- Cohen, A. P. 1985. The Symbolic Construction of Community. Routledge: New York.
- Durkheim, Émile. 1950  The Rules of Sociological Method. Translated by S. A. Solovay and J. H. Mueller. New York: The Free Press.
- Cox, F., J. Erlich, J. Rothman, and J. Tropman. 1970. Strategies of Community Organization: A Book of Readings. Itasca, IL: F. E. Peacock Publishers.
- Effland, R. 1998. The Cultural Evolution of Civilizations Mesa Community College.
- Giddens, A. 1999. "Risk and Responsibility" Modern Law Review 62(1): 1-10.
- Lenski, G. 1974. Human Societies: An Introduction to Macrosociology. New York: McGraw-Hill, Inc.
- Long, D.A., & Perkins, D.D. (2003). Confirmatory Factor Analysis of the Sense of Community Index and Development of a Brief SCI. Journal of Community Psychology, 31, 279-296.
- McMillan, D.W., & Chavis, D.M. 1986. "Sense of community: A definition and theory." American Journal of Community Psychology, 14(1), 6-23.
- Nancy, Jean-Luc. La Communauté désœuvrée - philosophical questioning of the concept of community and the possibility of encountering a non-subjective concept of it
- Newman, D. 2005. Sociology: Exploring the Architecture of Everyday Life, Chapter 5. "Building Identity: Socialization" Pine Forge Press. Retrieved: 2006-08-05.
- Peck, M.S. 1987. The Different Drum: Community-Making and Peace. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-684-84858-9
- Perkins, D.D., Florin, P., Rich, R.C., Wandersman, A. & Chavis, D.M. (1990). Participation and the social and physical environment of residential blocks: Crime and community context. American Journal of Community Psychology, 18, 83-115.
- Putnam, R. D. 2000. Bowling Alone: The collapse and revival of American community. New York: Simon & Schuster
- Sarason, S.B. 1974. The psychological sense of community: Prospects for a community psychology. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
- — 2000. What is globalization? Cambridge: Polity Press.
- Barzilai, Gad. 2003. Communities and Law: Politics and Cultures of Legal Identities. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
- Beck, U. 1992. Risk Society: Towards a New Modernity. London: Sage
- "community" Oxford Dictionaries. May 2014. Oxford Dictionaries
- See also
- Tönnies, F. 1887. Gemeinschaft und Gesellschaft, p. 22.
- Messing, A. (2009). Panxenos: An outsider's sociology of self. Human Architecture 7.3, pp. 155-172. 
- Putnam, D. 2000. Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of the American Community, p. 19.
- Project for Public Spaces. 2006. Ray Oldenburg.
- University of Florida. 2006. Social Capital in Tampa Bay: An Update Report.
- Verbit, M. F. (1970). The components and dimensions of religious behavior: Toward a reconceptualization of religiosity. American Mosaic, 24, 39.
- Küçükcan, T. (2010). Multidimensional Approach to Religion: a way of looking at religious phenomena. Journal for the Study of Religions and Ideologies, 4(10), 60-70.
- McMillan, D.W., & Chavis, D.M. 1986. "Sense of community: A definition and theory," p. 16.
- Perkins, D.D., Florin, P., Rich, R.C., Wandersman, A. & Chavis, D.M. (1990). Participation and the social and physical environment of residential blocks: Crime and community context. American Journal of Community Psychology, 18, 83-115. Chipuer, H. M., & Pretty, G. M. H. (1999). A review of the Sense of Community Index: Current uses, factor structure, reliability, and further development. Journal of Community Psychology, 27(6), 643-658. Long, D.A., & Perkins, D.D. (2003). Confirmatory Factor Analysis of the Sense of Community Index and Development of a Brief SCI. Journal of Community Psychology, 31, 279-296.
- Canuto, Marcello A. and Jason Yaeger (editors) (2000) The Archaeology of Communities. Routledge, New York. Hegmon, Michelle (2002) Concepts of Community in Archaeological Research. In Seeking the Center: Archaeology and Ancient Communities in the Mesa Verde Region, edited by Mark D. Varien and Richard H. Wilshusen, pp. 263-279. University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City.
- Newman, D. 2005. Chapter 5. "Building Identity: Socialization" pp. 134-140.
- Newman, D. 2005, p. 141.
- Smith, M. 2001. Community.
- Kelly, Anthony, "With Head, Heart and Hand: Dimensions of Community Building" (Boolarong Press) ISBN 978-0-86439-076-9
- Community Development Journal, Oxford University Press
- ABCD Institute, in cooperation with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. 2006. Discovering Community Power: A Guide to Mobilizing Local Assets and Your Organization's Capacity.
- ABCD Institute. 2006. Welcome to ABCD.
- Lutfiyya, Z.M (1988, March). Going for it": Life at the Gig Harbor Group Home. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Center on Human Policy, Research and Training Center on Community Integration.
- McKnight, J. (1989). Beyond Community Services. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University, Center of Urban Affairs and Policy Research.
- M. Scott Peck, (1987). The Different Drum: Community-Making and Peace, pp. 83-85.
- Peck (1987), pp. 86-106.
- M. Scott Peck (1991). "The Joy of Community". An interview with M. Scott Peck by Alan Atkisson. In Context #29, p. 26.
- Walls, David (1994) "Power to the People: Thirty-five Years of Community Organizing". From The Workbook, Summer 1994, pp. 52-55. Retrieved on: June 22, 2008.
- Jacoby Brown, Michael, (2006), Building Powerful Community Organizations: A Personal Guide To Creating Groups That Can Solve Problems and Change the World (Long Haul Press)
- Local Exchange Trading Systems were first developed by Michael Linton, in Courtenay, BC, see "LETSystems - new money". Retrieved: 2006-08-01.
- The Ithaca Hours system, developed by Paul Glover is outlined in "Creating Community Economics with Local Currency". Retrieved: 2006-08-01.
- Racino, J. (2014). Public Administration and Disability: Community Services Administration in the US. London and NY, NY: CRC Press.
- McKnight, J. (1989). Beyond Community Services. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University.
- O'Brien, J. & O'Brien, C.L. (1995). Building better communities: people with disabilites and their allies. In: T. Philpot & L. Ward, Changing Ideas for Services for People with Learning Difficulties. Oxford, UK: Butterworth-Heinemann.
- Bogdan, R. & Taylor, S.J. (1999). Building Stronger Communities for All: Thoughts About Community Participation for People with Developmental Disabilities. Syracuse, NY: Center on Human Policy, Syracuse University.
- Gerhard Delanty, Community, Routledge, London, 2003.
- Etienne Wenger, Communities of Practice: Learning, Meaning and Identity, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1998.
- Tropman John E., Erlich, John L. and Rothman, Jack (2006), "Tactics and Techniques of Community Intervention" (Wadsworth Publishing)
- Australian Academy of Science. Nova: Science in the News. Retrieved: 2006-07-21.
- Peck (1987), p. 233.
- Circles of Sustainability
- Community –
- Community theatre
- Engaged theory
- Outline of community
- WorldHeritage community
- Community integration
- Public administration
Definitions of community as "organisms inhabiting a common environment and interacting with one another," while scientifically accurate, do not convey the richness, diversity and complexity of human communities. Their classification, likewise is almost never precise. Untidy as it may be, community is vital for humans. M. Scott Peck expresses this in the following way: "There can be no vulnerability without risk; there can be no community without vulnerability; there can be no peace, and ultimately no life, without community."
Special nature of human community
- A retirement community is designated and at least usually designed for retirees and seniors—often restricted to those over a certain age, such as 56. It differs from a retirement home, which is a single building or small complex, by having a number of autonomous households.
- An intentional community is a deliberate residential community with a much higher degree of social communication than other communities. The members of an intentional community typically hold a common social, political or spiritual vision and share responsibilities and resources. Intentional communities include Amish villages, ashrams, cohousing, communes, ecovillages, housing cooperatives, kibbutzim, and land trusts.
Some communities share both location and other attributes. Members choose to live near each other because of one or more common interests.
- A "professional community" is a group of people with the same or related occupations. Some of those members may join a professional society, making a more defined and formalized group. These are also sometimes known as communities of practice.
- A virtual community is a group of people primarily or initially communicating or interacting with each other by means of information technologies, typically over the Internet, rather than in person. These may be either communities of interest, practice or communion. Research interest is evolving in the motivations for contributing to online communities.
- These communities are key to our modern day society, because we have the ability to share information with millions in a matter of seconds.
In some contexts, "community" indicates a group of people with a common identity other than location. Members often interact regularly. Common examples in everyday usage include:
- A neighborhood is a geographically localized community, often within a larger city or suburb.
- A planned community is one that was designed from scratch and expanded more or less following the plan. Several of the world's capital cities are planned cities, notably Washington, D.C., in the United States, Canberra in Australia, and Brasília in Brazil. It was also common during the European colonization of the Americas to build according to a plan either on fresh ground or on the ruins of earlier Amerindian cities. Community service is a free service.
- Although large cities are also municipalities, they are often thought of as a collection of communities, due to their diversity.
- A municipality is an administrative local area generally composed of a clearly defined territory and commonly referring to a town or village.
Possibly the most common usage of the word "community" indicates a large group living in close proximity. Examples of local community include:
In these terms, communities can be nested and/or intersecting; one community can contain another—for example a location-based community may contain a number of ethnic communities. Both lists above can used in a cross-cutting matrix in relation to each other.
- 3. Projected community relations
- This is where a community is self-consciously treated as an entity to be projected and re-created. It can be projected as through thin advertising slogan, for example gated community, or can take the form of ongoing associations of people who seek political integration, communities of practice based on professional projects, associative communities which seek to enhance and support individual creativity, autonomy and mutuality. A nation is one of the largest forms of projected or imagined community.
2. Life-style community relations This involves giving give primacy to communities coming together around particular chosen ways of life, such as morally charged or interest-based relations or just living or working in the same location. Hence the following sub-forms:
- community-life as morally bounded, a form taken by many traditional faith-based communities.
- community-life as interest-based, including sporting, leisure-based and business communities which come together for regular moments of engagement.
- community-life as proximately-related, where neighbourhood or commonality of association forms a community of convenience, or a community of place (see below).
- 2. Life-style community relations This involves giving give primacy to communities coming together around particular chosen ways of life, such as morally charged or interest-based relations or just living or working in the same location. Hence the following sub-forms:
- 1. Grounded community relations This involves enduring attachment to particular places and particular people. It is the dominant form taken by customary and tribal communities. In these kinds of communities, the land is fundamental to identity.
In response to these problems, Paul James and his colleagues have developed a taxonomy that maps community relations, and recognizes that actual communities can be characterized by different kinds of relations at the same time:
The usual categorizations of community relations have a number of problems: 1. they tend to give the impression that a particular community can be defined as just this kind or another; 2. they tend to conflate modern and customary community relations; 3. they tend to take sociological categories such as ethnicity or race as given, forgetting that different ethnically defined persons live in different kinds of communities — grounded, interest-based, diasporic, etc.
- Location-based communities: range from the local neighbourhood, suburb, village, town or city, region, nation or even the planet as a whole. These are also called communities of place.
- Identity-based communities: range from the local clique, sub-culture, ethnic group, religious, multicultural or pluralistic civilisation, or the global community cultures of today. They may be included as communities of need or identity, such as disabled persons, or frail aged people.
- Organizationally based communities: range from communities organized informally around family or network-based guilds and associations to more formal incorporated associations, political decision making structures, economic enterprises, or professional associations at a small, national or international scale.
A number of ways to categorize types of community have been proposed. One such breakdown is as follows:
Types of community
Bangladesh Community, is a rapidly expanding and extending community in Canada with its professionals, students and families. In Alberta, Bangladesh Heritage and Ethnic Society (BHESA), a not-for-profit socio-cultural & heritage association known to lead to greater understanding of culture and heritage of Bangladesh, and characterized by planning, action and mobilization of community, the promotion of multicultural changes and, ultimately, influence within larger systems. Through establishing its link to the larger or more extended communities with national, international, and virtual community. ^BHESA celebrates Bangladesh culture, ^MJMF supports Bangladeshi and Canadian Youth, ^International Mother Language Day Celebration 2015, ^BHESA,^MJMF,==
However, by the 1990s, the call was to return to community and to go beyond community services to belonging, relationships, community building and welcoming new population groups and diversity in community life.
Community services may be paid for through different revenue streams which include targeted federal funds, taxpayer contributions, state and local grants and contracts, voluntary donations, Medicaid or health care funds, community development block grants, targeted education funds, and so forth. In the 2000s, the business sector began to contract with government, and also consult on government policies, and has shifted the framework of community services to the for-profit domains.
In a broad discussion of community services, schools, hospitals, clinics, rehabilitation and criminal justice institutions also view themselves as community planners and decisionmakers together with governmental leadership (e.g., city and county offices, state-regional offices). However, while many community services are voluntary, some may be part of alternative sentencing approaches in a justice system and it can be required by educational institutions as part of internships, employment training, and post-graduation plans.
community integration to homes, families and local communities (e.g., community residential services).
Community services is a term that refers to a wide range of community institutions, governmental and non-governmental services, voluntary, third sector organizations, and grassroots and neighborhood efforts in local communities, towns, cities, and suburban-exurban areas. In line with governmental and community thinking, volunteering and unpaid services are often preferred (e.g., altruism, beneficence) to large and continued investments in infrastructure and community services personnel, with private-public partnerships often common.
Some communities have developed their own "Local Exchange Trading Systems" (LETS) and local currencies, such as the Ithaca Hours system, to encourage economic growth and an enhanced sense of community. Community currencies have recently proven valuable in meeting the needs of people living in various South American nations, particularly Argentina, that recently suffered as a result of the collapse of the Argentinian national currency.
If communities are developed based on something they share in common, whether that be location or values, then one challenge for developing communities is how to incorporate individuality and differences. Indeed, as Rebekah Nathan suggests in her book, My Freshman Year, we are actually drawn to developing communities totally based on sameness, despite stated commitments to diversity, such as those found on university websites. Nathan states that certain commonalities allow college students to cohere: "What holds students together, really, is age, pop culture, a handful of (recent) historical events, and getting a degree" (qtd. In Barrios 229). Universities may try to create community through all freshman reads, freshman seminars, and school pride; however, Nathan argues students will only form communities based on the attributes, such as age and pop culture, that they bring with them to college. Nathan's point, then, is that people come to college and don't expand their social horizons and cultural tolerance, which can prevent the development of your social community. (Barrios, Barclay. Emerging: Contemporary Readings for Writers. New York: Bedford St. Martins, 2010.)
 Community organizing is sometimes focused on more than just resolving specific issues. Organizing often means building a widely accessible power structure, often with the end goal of distributing power equally throughout the community. Community organizers generally seek to build groups that are open and democratic in governance. Such groups facilitate and encourage
Community building that is geared toward citizen action is usually termed "community organizing." In these cases, organized community groups seek accountability from elected officials and increased direct representation within decision-making bodies. Where good-faith negotiations fail, these constituency-led organizations seek to pressure the decision-makers through a variety of means, including picketing, boycotting, sit-ins, petitioning, and electoral politics. The ARISE Detroit! coalition and the Toronto Public Space Committee are examples of activist networks committed to shielding local communities from government and corporate domination and inordinate influence.
More recently Peck remarked that building a sense of community is easy but maintaining this sense of community is difficult in the modern world. Community building can use a wide variety of practices, ranging from simple events such as potlucks and small book clubs to larger-scale efforts such as mass festivals and construction projects that involve local participants rather than outside contractors.
- Pseudocommunity: The beginning stage when people first come together. This is the stage where people try to be nice, and present what they feel are their most personable and friendly characteristics.
- Chaos: When people move beyond the inauthenticity of pseudo-community and feel safe enough to present their "shadow" selves. This stage places great demands upon the facilitator for greater leadership and organization, but Peck believes that "organizations are not communities", and this pressure should be resisted.
- Emptiness: This stage moves beyond the attempts to fix, heal and convert of the chaos stage, when all people become capable of acknowledging their own woundedness and brokenness, common to us all as human beings. Out of this emptiness comes...
- True community: the process of deep respect and true listening for the needs of the other people in this community. This stage Peck believes can only be described as "glory" and reflects a deep yearning in every human soul for compassionate understanding from one's fellows.
In The Different Drum: Community-Making and Peace, Scott Peck argues that the almost accidental sense of community that exists at times of crisis can be consciously built. Peck believes that conscious community building is a process of deliberate design based on the knowledge and application of certain rules. He states that this process goes through four stages:
Community building and organizing
At the intersection between community development and community building are a number of programs and organizations with community development tools. One example of this is the program of the Asset Based Community Development Institute of  In the disability field, community building was prevalent in the 1980s and 1990s with roots in John McKnight's approaches.
Formal accredited programs conducted by universities, as part of degree granting institutions, are often used to build a knowledge base to drive curricula in public administration, sociology and community studies. The General Social Survey from the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago and the Saguaro Seminar at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University are examples of national community development in the United States. The Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University in New York State offers core courses in community and economic development, and in areas ranging from non-profit development to US budgeting (federal to local, community funds). In the United Kingdom, Oxford University has led in providing extensive research in the field through its Community Development Journal, used worldwide by sociologists and community development practitioners.
These skills often assist in building political power through the formation of large social groups working for a common agenda. Community development practitioners must understand both how to work with individuals and how to affect communities' positions within the context of larger social institutions. Public administrators, in contrast, need to understand community development in the context of rural and urban development, housing and economic development, and community, organizational and business development.