Definition Essay- The Evolved Definition of Community
The definition provided in The American College Dictionary from 1964 says “a group of men or women leading a common life according to a rule.” I never really viewed community in this manner. Many of us think of the word “community” as a group of people who live near each other. We forget that a community is actually just a group of people with common interests or characteristics who often happen to live near each other. Communities can be bound by race, religion, economic standings, political standings, and most commonly, location. Frequently, communities fall into more than one of these categories.
The definition of community has obviously changed over the years. If we look at one of the first definitions of the word in 1874, we can see that the word started out describing a certain type of group; “a communistic or socialistic society.” (A Dictionary of American English) The word has still retained its original idea of a special group of people, only now the definition has broadened too many different types of people and their interest groups.
Through the essays I’ve read in class, my original idea of community has been upheld. In Charles Derber’s “The Good Man Fills His Own Stomach,” Derber refers to two very different communities. One is the Ik who lived in Uganda and were described as “unfortunate people expelled by an uncaring government.” The other, was an imaginary community from the Woody Allen movie Crimes and Misdemeanors. This community seemed to resemble a community from our...