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skumar's picture

Community- a word of negative connotation

Dawn,

I wanted to comment briefly on what your sociology professor said about (momentarily) hating the word "community." I agree with him. I say this because I think a community seems comforting if and only if you happen fit within the selectively similar group of people. One experiences the feeling of support and a sense of trust within a community. When we hear "community," we more often than not imagine something positive. Let us imagine a situation, one similar to Marji's situation, when suddenly the loving, supportive community becomes one that detioriates your identity (eg. in Marji's case, she got involved with drugs, boys, sex--things that her culture denies). Despite the apparent differences, Marji said that she initially felt welcome into this "community." She slowly found that she did not belong, that the "communities" in America were unlike "communities" back home in Iran.

What is the meaning, or purpose of a community? Is not a community a group of people with common interests, common understandings? Given this definition, doesn't it seem like a lot of people would be excluded from a group of similar people. So, then isn't a community more exclusive than inclusive?

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