Journal Article

Vocabularies of community

Hilary Yerbury

in Community Development Journal

Published on behalf of Community Development Journal

Volume 47, issue 2, pages 184-198
Published in print April 2012 | ISSN: 0010-3802
Published online January 2011 | e-ISSN: 1468-2656 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cdj/bsq067
Vocabularies of community

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  • Development Studies
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There have been many calls to conceptualize or reconceptualize key concepts that have been affected by the changes to ways of living, especially for young people in the late twentieth and early twenty-first century. Community is one such concept. The ethnographic study reported here explored how educated young people involved in civil society online and with links to Sydney, NSW, expressed their understanding of community through their lived experience. It sought to theorize ‘community’ following Geertz and developed a vocabulary through which the human behaviour of community can be expressed. This vocabulary has some similarities to a vocabulary derived from the literature, but also differs in significant ways. An analysis of the vocabulary derived from the expression of the lived experience of the young people in this study indicates that community continues to exist for these young people and among other things that the desire for community is intrinsically linked to the development of self-identity and to making the world a good place to live. Community is not seen as an entity into which an individual can be absorbed, but rather something which grows out from the individual and which is endlessly created and re-created.

Journal Article.  5589 words. 

Subjects: Development Studies ; Public Policy ; Social Impact of Environmental Issues (Environmental Science) ; Development Planning and Policy

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