In relation to this statement I have decided to research a community within inner city Dublin. I will focus my research on the community of Fatima Mansions in relation to the theories of community, the functions of the community, community supports and resources and community integration versus community marginalisation.
There is no one definition for Community, Community is a contested concept that when we begin to study we learn that it is a very complex topic. Bell and Newby (1976) provided four definitions of community, one of which refers to community as a “specific place and to imagine it as a small self-contained society.”
Some functions of community were outlined in “The Community in America” (1963) by Ronald Warren, these functions are as follows:
1. Socialisation: “Socialisation refers to the way in which we absorb the rules of behaviour which are common in our society.”(Abbott 1998:10) This function allows children and adults to learn from each other. Norms, customs and values are learnt by the members of the community. This socialisation provides individuals with the ability to function within their community by acquiring the ideologies and customs of the community.
2. Social Control: Social Control can come in two forms- Formal and Informal. Formal methods of social control are generally carried out by the legal system. Informal methods of social control are generally in relation to family, educational institutions. Social control aims to ensure that the expected behaviour of the community is adhered to.
3. Mutual Support: This function is very obvious in the community of Fatima Mansions that I have researched. This mutual support is the support given within the community among the residents. It was evident that there was much support provided to the community and within the community during the regeneration process of Fatima Mansions.
There are many different theories of community, for this essay I will talk about Tonnies theory of community. Tonnies was a 19th century German sociologist theorist who believed that the loss of community was involved in the rise of urban industrialisation. Tonnies had this pessimistic view of modern society. He proposed two frameworks for his theory of community. These two frameworks are:
Gemienschaft: Gemienschaft is in relation to pre-industrial communities. These communities are pre-modernisation. The relationships in these communities provide relationships which are intimate and enduring. The people in these communities have their futures known. They are attached to the norms, customs and values of the community.
The second framework Tonnies spoke of was Gesellschaft. Gesellschaft is a post modernisation and post industrialisation framework of community. This type of community is different to the Gemienschaft framework I spoke of previously. This framework relates to communities that are opposite to that of Gemienschaft. The relationships between the people in the communities are...