A community is social group that are bound together by geography, profession, lifestyle, circumstances, believe or interests. The following are illustrative examples.
Sense of PlaceThe term community is primarily associated with social interaction that occurs in a physical or digital place. For example, the social interactions between neighbors or people who live in the same town. This gives a place character and gives people a sense of place. As such, the design of cities and towns to include attractive public spaces tends to create a sense of community amongst locals.
People treat each other with respect in a community and try to resolve disagreements in a reasonable way according to the norms of the prevailing culture.
SolidarityThe ability of a community to identify shared goals and values and to unify to work towards a common purpose.
CelebrationCommunities find an excuse to get together and celebrate life and culture.
Social StatusSocial status is respect that is earned in a community. This differs greatly from one community to another. Where one community may respect behavior that is in line with norms or ideals another may respect unbridled individuality and coolness.
Doing things as a group that are enjoyable such as play, risk taking and fulfilling work. In many cases, individuals who take few risks alone are happy to do so in the context of community.
EmpathyMembers of a community may demonstrate sympathy and empathy for each other.
Chance EncountersA community is a place where you might run into people you know or meet new people. For example, a neighborhood with a play street that encourages neighbors to meet and enjoy recreation.
SocializationCommunities provide an opportunity to interact and learn how to get along with others in the context of a culture. This allows an individual to build social skills and cultural capital.
IdentityAn individual may view their community memberships as an element of their identity.
CosmopolitanismA community can be based on perceptions of shared identity. Alternatively, it can be based on a celebration of differences. For example, cosmopolitanism is an embrace of culture and community at the global level based on shared interests or pursuits.
MembershipA community provides a sense of social inclusion and membership. An individual may belong to many communities based on their neighborhood, city, profession, interests, lifestyle, beliefs, circumstances and aspects of their identity.
ParticipationA community may offer activities, events and projects that give members an outlet for their energies.
Information ExchangeA chance to communicate and to learn from others. In many cases, a community is key to the development and sharing of domain specific and situated knowledge.
InfluenceTwo way communication whereby people have the opportunity to influence each other and impact the ideas held by the community.
Personal FulfillmentCommunities fulfill human needs in areas such as social connectedness and sense of purpose.
GivingOpportunities to give into something that you believe in. It is common for people to have a strong desire to give back to a community that has benefited them.
NotesThe original meaning of the term community is a social group that live in close proximity to each other such as the members of a neighborhood or town. This was commonly used as an analogy to describe other social groups until the term lost its original meaning to become a broad term for any social group.
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