Thursday, August 15, 2013

Making Sense of Sense of Community

Brian Bishop, Peta Dzidic, K. Boekamp, E. Stevens, Paul Speer, and Jenny Fremlin, Fielding's School of Psychology

Sarason argued that Sense of Community (SOC) should be the central concept of Community Psychology. His conception of SOC is complex and deals with the social dynamics of living in a gemeinscaft. Subsequent operationalization of this concept has proved to be very fruitful, but questions arise about the conceptual contributions that this work has provided. Paradoxically the quantitative approaches to SOC have operationalized it as an individualist concept. A fundamental conundrum exists in that SOC is about peoples connections to community and as such is a collective experience. In this roundtable discussion, we ask presenters to describe their research in a bid to foster discussion on where sense of community as a concept has come from, where it is now, and where the discipline of community psychology is headed. In this session, we ask the fundamental question, has sense of community necessarily realised its promise? And from this, why do some people feel a part of a community and other alienated?

Location: Society for Community Research and Action 2013 Biennial Conference, Coral Gables, FL

Event Date: Jun 28, 2013

Keywords: Sense of community, Online communities, Media psychology

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