Amanda I. Seligman

in Chicago's Block Clubs

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print October 2016 | ISBN: 9780226385716
Published online May 2017 | e-ISBN: 9780226385990 | DOI:

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A major goal of block clubs was to connect neighbors. Participants hoped to build residents’ relationships to one another and to larger organizational networks. Social scientists often talk about this phenomenon as “community.” Although it was impossible to measure whether block clubs actually increased residents’ sense of community, members proceeded with their activities on the assumption that they were building meaningful social connections. They often used newsletters, and in the twenty-first century, the internet, to keep members aware of programming. Many clubs were especially concerned to draw children and youth under their influence. Block parties, either celebrating accomplishments or just promoting fun, were a common approach to building up a sense of community among a block’s adults and children.

Keywords: block clubs; block parties; children; citizen participation; community; community based organizations; neighbors; networks; quality of life; youth

Chapter.  10051 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Political History

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