Chapter 46: The Sociology of Community
W. RICHARD GOE & SEAN NOONAN
The sociology of community As a sociological concept, community has been used to refer to a range of social phenomena. In a critical analysis of the concept, Joseph Gusfield (1975:xv–xvi) contended that there are two major usages of community. First, the concept is used to refer to a physical territory, or geographic area, where human beings reside and/or work. Second, community is used to refer to the quality or character of human relationships that bind persons to each other to form a social group. Many sociological studies of community focus on one of these definitions, while others have combined both usages. As will be described below, other studies have used a different definition of community altogether. Because of the diversity of definitions of community that have been developed, there has never been extensive agreement within the discipline of sociology on the precise meaning of the concept. The origins of community ...